Press Release

CUELLAR’S FIRST BILL IN NEW CONGRESS

Constitutional Amendment that Requires Balanced Budget

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Washington, January 11, 2011 | Lesley Lopez ((202) 225-1640) | comments
Constitutional Amendment that Requires Balanced Budget
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Congressman Henry Cuellar (TX 28) announced that he has filed his first bill of the 112th Congress, HJ Res. 10, which calls for a Constitutional amendment to require a balanced budget.

This bill requires Congress to produce a balanced budget every fiscal year and requires the President to submit a balanced budget in his or her annual transmission to Congress. It also protects Social Security benefits, ensuring that our most vulnerable are not subject to a reduction in their guaranteed benefits when they need them the most.

"Families in South Texas make tough decisions every day about their budgets. Congress should learn a lesson from them about how to live within its means," said Congressman Cuellar. "Reducing the national debt is not only critical for our community’s economic recovery—it’s critical for future generations of Americans. This bill sets the tone for the important work on fiscal responsibility I aim to accomplish in the 112th Congress."

Forty-nine states currently require an annual balanced budget, and an amendment to the Constitution will finally hold the federal government to the same, commonsense standard.

"We cannot afford to short-change young Americans and future generations-- who will undoubtedly face higher taxes and cuts to federal investments in priorities such as education, transportation and national security, if the budget fails to be managed," said Congressman Cuellar.

Last week, Congressman Cuellar’s bipartisan legislation to increase government efficiency, H.R. 2142, was signed into law by the president. The Government Performance and Results Modernization Act of 2010 is a landmark move toward increasing transparency and accountability by requiring federal agencies to establish performance goals that can be measured and reported to Congress and taxpayers.

In 2010, Congressman Cuellar helped pass statutory Pay-As-You-Go legislation to reestablish spending rules for Congress to rein-in federal spending, draw down the nation’s debt and restore the fiscal discipline of the 1990s when deficits were turned into record-setting surpluses. PAYGO rules last expired in the House in late 2002.

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Congressman Henry Cuellar is a member of the U.S. House Homeland Security, Agriculture, and Government Oversight & Reform Committees in the 111th Congress. Accessibility to constituents, education, health care, economic development, and national security are his priorities. Congressman Cuellar is also a Senior Whip and member of the Blue Dog Coalition.

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