Congressman Pete Olson

Representing the 22nd District of Texas


November 18, 2011

Washington, DC – Rep. Pete Olson (R-Sugar Land) today voted to bring common sense to the federal government through a Balanced Budget Amendment (BBA) to the U.S. Constitution. The BBA makes explicit in our country’s founding document that the official fiscal policy of the United States is to spend only the amount of taxpayers’ dollars that the U.S. Treasury collects each fiscal year. 

"Our national debt reached a staggering $15 trillion this week," Olson said."Clearly, Washington needs a mandated balanced budget to live within its means. Every week families pay their bills and balance their checkbooks. They, unlike Congress, must reconcile what they spend with the income they bring into their homes. Both parties have spent too much and America simply cannot afford this reckless spending any longer. We need a Balanced Budget Amendment to the Constitution as a necessary mechanism that will truly force Congress and the White House to live within their means."

The Balanced Budget Amendment is consistent with the principles in the Cut, Cap and Balance (CCB) Act previously approved by the House. It prohibits outlays for a fiscal year from exceeding total receipts for that year unless Congress, by a three-fifths roll call vote of each chamber, authorizes a specific excess of outlays over receipts. It requires a three-fifths majority in each chamber to increase the public debt limit and directs the President to submit a balanced budget to Congress annually. It also stops any bill to increase revenue from becoming law unless approved by a majority of each chamber, but allows for a waiver of these provisions when a declaration of war is in effect or under other specified circumstances involving military conflict.

 The House voted 261 - 165 in favor of a balanced budget falling short by29 votes for the two-thirds requirement needed for a constitutional amendment.