Sen. Deb Fischer supports adding a balanced budget amendment to the United States Constitution.
Fischer, a Republican, says now that Congress approved a new tax schedule to resolve the “fiscal cliff” crisis, it needs to turn its attention to spending.
“As you know, the tax issue has been dealt with in Congress and I believe that now is the time that we address Washington’s spending addiction,” Fischer tells Nebraska reporters during a conference call. “And, the only way to get our fiscal house in order is to get federal government spending under control.”
Fischer says that Congress has demonstrated it will not balance the federal budget, unless forced to by the Constitution.
The legislation Fischer has signed onto as a co-sponsor would require the president to submit a balanced budget to Congress. It would limit future spending to 18% of the Gross Domestic Product. Federal spending at present equals approximately 26% of GDP.
Some variation of a balanced budget amendment has been proposed in Congress since the 1930s. In 1997, a balanced budget proposal failed in the Senate by one vote. If it would pass Congress, the proposed Constitutional amendment would be sent to the states for ratification.
Fischer denies that such an amendment would create pressure to raise taxes, noting that the amendment would require a super-majority in Congress to approve raising taxes.
“I am not in favor of tax increases,” Fischer states. “The tax side of this was addressed before I entered Congress. We saw that addressed. Now we need to address spending.”
AUDIO: Sen. Deb Fischer discusses balanced budget amendment to Constitution. [3 min.]