Rep. Mike Pence, Indiana Republican, joined Rep. Jeb Hensarling, Texas Republican, in introducing a Spending Limit Amendment to the U.S. Constitution yesterday.
Balanced-budget proposals are nothing new in Washington and usually are dismissed. However, this amendment would limit spending to one-fifth of the nation’s economy, but if there is a declaration of war or a two-thirds congressional vote, the spending limit could be suspended.
Mr. Pence, chairman of the House Republican Conference, explained in a press release why the focus on a spending-limit amendment gives more power to the American people to decide how large government should be:
“With our nation facing a fiscal crisis, it is time to fundamentally change the way Washington spends the taxpayers’ money. Unless we change course, the public debt will consume the entire economy in less than fifteen years. Runaway spending and record debt will make future generations of Americans less free, less prosperous and less secure.
“We have a moral obligation to put our nation’s fiscal house in order. That is why I am proud to introduce the Spending Limit Amendment with Representatives Jeb Hensarling and John Campbell. The Spending Limit Amendment will give the American people a unique opportunity to define the size and scope of the federal government for future generations. I urge the American people, and every Member of Congress, to support the Spending Limit Amendment to the Constitution of the United States.”
This proposed Pence-Hensarling amendment will require two-thirds of Congress just to pass it. Then it will be on to the rest of the nation, where three-fourths of states must ratify it.
While Mr. Pence and Mr. Hensarling may have a long road ahead just getting past the first stage of this process, it certainly will show who is willing simply to talk about less spending and who is willing to really do it. Stay tuned for more.