Senate approves balanced budget amendment

LANSING—The Michigan Senate on Thursday approved a joint resolution, co-sponsored by Sen. John Proos, to petition Congress to call a constitutional convention for the purpose of proposing a balanced budget amendment to the U.S. Constitution.

“Our country is nearly $17 trillion in debt and faces a $750 billion deficit in 2014, yet the federal government shut down this year because leaders in Washington refuse to stop spending money we don’t have,” said Proos, R-St. Joseph. “Our staggering national debt is expected to equal America’s total annual economic output in 25 years. A balanced budget amendment will force Congress to cut up the national credit card, spend tax dollars wisely and efficiently and hopefully begin to reduce the debt burden we leave to future generations.”

Senate Joint Resolution V officially petitions Congress to take the necessary steps toward passing a balanced budget amendment to the U.S. Constitution. Nineteen states have already approved the resolution. Once adopted by 15 more states, it becomes binding on Congress.

“Michigan and other states are making the reforms and spending reductions needed to do what Southwest Michigan families and job providers do every month: live within your means,” Proos said. “It is long overdue for the federal government to do the same.”

Currently, the national debt is $16.7 trillion, or nearly $54,000 per person and just under $150,000 per taxpayer. By 2017, the federal debt is estimated to surpass $22 trillion.

Proos said another way to help ensure fiscal responsibility is for the state to adopt his measure, Senate Concurrent Resolution 4, to implement a two-year budget.

“Two-year budgeting would help us on two fronts: it would give schools and local governments the budgetary certainty they need and allow lawmakers to focus more time on revitalizing our economy and reducing spending,” Proos said. “Let’s take less time arguing about how the state spends taxpayer dollars and more time on measuring results and improving efficiency.”

SJR V now heads to the Michigan House of Representatives for consideration. SCR 4 has been referred to the Senate Government Operations Committee.


Editor’s Note – Audio comments by Sen. Proos will be available on the senator’s webpage at Click on “Podcasts.”