U.S. Senator Mike Enzi, R-Wyo., wants his colleagues to join him and support an amendment to the Constitution that would prevent the federal government from spending more than it takes in.
The Senate is expected to vote on two competing balanced budget amendments Wednesday. Enzi said the measure offered by Senator Orrin Hatch, R-Utah, is the stronger plan while the alternative proposal would not set spending limits and relies on tax increases to bring the federal budget in line.
Enzi, whose first speech on the Senate floor in 1997 was in support of a balanced budget amendment, spoke again Tuesday. It is time to “…put a fiscal straightjacket on our nation’s addiction to spending money we don’t have.” Congress has tried for too long to hide, disguise and ignore the problem, while acting like it is acceptable to keep spending money that we don’t have.
“We no longer have that option,” Enzi said. “Amending our Constitution is an extraordinary measure. It is not something that I take lightly. However, we are in an extraordinary time and Americans deserve the opportunity to vote on an amendment that will force the federal government to come to grips with its finances.”
Senate and House passage of a Balanced Budget amendment would just be the first step. The amendment would still have to be ratified by three-fourths of the states to become a part of the Constitution.
“We need to make the hard decisions now. The longer we wait, the harder it will be. We can reduce the deficit if we have the will,” Enzi said. “Passing a balanced budget amendment would show Americans that Congress finally has the will to act on this problem.”