Balance, or bust
Posted by: U.S. Senator Jim DeMint (R-SC)
Last week, I joined many of my Republican colleagues in the Senate at a press conference to announce the introduction of a new Constitutional Amendment to force Congress to stop the debt and balance the budget
If passed by the House and Senate and ratified by the states, the new Balanced Budget Amendment will:
- Force Congress to balance the federal budget each year;
- Limit federal spending to no more than 18 percent of GDP; and
- Prevent tax increases
Furthermore, the only way for Congress to get around these limitations is with a 2/3 super-majority vote in the House and Senate to waive them.
Thanks to the hard work of conservatives like Senator Mike Lee
of Utah and Senator Pat Toomey
of Pennsylvania, the new Balanced Budget Amendment has the support of every Republican in the Senate.
As you know, getting Republicans to unite behind the right policy is a difficult thing to do. Today's announcement is a remarkable achievement that would not have been accomplished without the leadership of the new Senators you helped elect last year.
But agreeing on the right policy is not enough to save our country. Republicans also have to be willing to fight to enact that policy
, even if it means sacrificing their political careers.
Republicans will have a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to pass the new Balanced Budget Amendment when President Obama and the Democrats in Congress try to raise the national debt ceiling.
If we're willing to draw a line in the sand and refuse to increase the debt limit unless the House and Senate pass the new Balanced Budget Amendment
, we can win a major victory for the American people and begin the process of stopping the massive spending, takeovers and debt that are destroying our country.
DEBT LIMIT STRATEGY
Democrat Leader Harry Reid will have to find 60 votes to increase the debt limit. There are 53 Democrats in the Senate today but at least 8 of them know that voting with Reid will guarantee their defeat in the 2012 elections. That means Reid will have to find up to 15 Republicans to raise the debt limit.
Can he do it? Not if you stop him.
The immediate strategy for our nation's financial future is very simple. Republicans must hold firm and vote against the debt limit increase unless Congress passes the Balanced Budget Amendment. It's balance, or bust
. No BBA, no debt limit increase.
Freedom-loving Americans across the country need to stop what they are doing and urge their Senators to "Stop the Debt and Balance the Budget." Furthermore, your elected leaders need to know that you will oppose them in their next election if they vote to increase the debt limit without first passing the Balanced Budget Amendment.
Urge Your Senators to Fight the Debt LimitWe need to make it harder for Harry Reid to find 60 votes to raise the debt limit than to find 67 votes to pass the Balanced Budget Amendment
. And we must persist in our effort until Democrats are forced to support this commonsense approach.
This is very important and will require our full attention. Some of my Republican colleagues in the Senate don't want to fight the debt limit. Others are working to find a fig leaf to give themselves cover to vote for another increase. But these half-measures will not balance the budget
I've heard some critics within my own party say we can't pass a Balanced Budget Amendment. Why not? Why, when government spending threatens to bring our country to its knees, is it easier for politicians to raise our nation's debt than to balance our budget?
Will any Democrat in Washington lose their next election because they voted to balance the budget? No. Not a single one. They just don't want to let go of the programs that increase their own power and make Americans dependent on Washington. It's time for Republicans to man up and force Harry Reid to deliver the votes to pass the Balanced Budget Amendment.
We were nine Democrats short when the Senate voted on this question last month. If Harry Reid and his party don't want to produce the votes needed to pass the Balanced Budget Amendment, Republicans should make them explain that to the American people.
Florida Senator Marco Rubio
wrote a powerful column for the Wall Street Journal
last week explaining why he will oppose the debt limit. Senator Rubio writes that "this may be our last chance to force Washington to tackle the central economic issue of our time." He's right. Now let's make sure Republicans don't miss this opportunity.Enough is enough
. It's time to fight for our freedoms. It's time to stop the debt and balance the budget.
Thank you for your continued encouragement and support. Together, we can take back our government and secure the future for our great country.
Urge Your Senators to Fight the Debt Limit
Pat Toomey Mike Lee