Washington D.C.-- Mike Enzi is asking his colleagues in the U.S. Senate to pull together and hold the line for a balanced budget.
Enzi, a strong proponent of the Balanced Budget Constitutional Amendment which was defeated by only one vote in the Senate, has renewed the call for a balanced federal budget by 2002.
In a recent letter to Senate Majority Leader Trent Lott, Enzi and other senators told Lott they would not vote for "a budget resolution or a budget reconciliation package which allows an annual deficit to increase above the prior year deficit."
"The American people deserve a budget that is real, honest and realistic," the letter said. "We urge you to forge a budget package which will prevent the budget deficit from increasing above the 1997 level. A path to a balanced budget should be just that-- a path on which the deficit decreases every year in as near equal amounts as possible until 2002."
Enzi said President Clinton's proposed budget is $69 billion out of balance. The next two years the budge deficit increases dramatically and "only after the President leaves office, are the tough cuts made."
"During the debate on the Balanced Budget Constitutional Amendment, detractors said a balanced budget only required a vote by the Congress and the signature of the President. Well, the budget the President has put before us is $69 billion out of balance and comes complete with a net tax increase of more than $23 billion over 10 years," said Enzi.
"There are at least 39 specific tax increases in the President's proposed budget. Working families are paying all the taxes they can stomach. I was chosen by my constituents because the people of Wyoming knew I would fight for a balanced budget. I'm serious about it and it's time the President gets serious about it too."
Enzi said the letter he and 24 other senators sent to Majority Leader Lott are all part of an effort to show their pure resolve for passing the first balanced budget in 28 years.
"When Senator Lott sits in negotiations with the President, I hope he expresses the strong conviction many of us have for a balanced budget," said Enzi. "This is a crucial point in the budget process and nothing less than a balanced budget by 2002 will do."
Congressional committees are authorized to begin appropriating funds for various programs in mid May. Enzi is hopeful a budget resolution will be worked out before then.