Hoeven Speaks In Support Of U.S. Balanced Budget Amendment on Senate Floor

WASHINGTON – Senator John Hoeven today spoke on the floor of the U.S. Senate in support of the Balanced Budget Amendment he is cosponsoring, saying high spending and debt impedes job growth and economic opportunity. 

Hoeven said 49 states have some form of balanced budget requirement, and 46 states are expected to end their fiscal year with a balanced general fund budget. By contrast, the nation currently has revenues of $2.2 trillion, but expenditures of $3.7 trillion, leaving a $1.5 trillion annual deficit and a $14.5 trillion debt. 

The Balanced Budget Amendment is ultimately about jobs, Hoeven said. The nation’s current debt is 95 percent of the size of our economy, and it’s projected to exceed the size of our economy in ten years. Nations with debt above 90 percent of gross domestic product typically experience 1 to 2 percent lower economic growth, and for every 1 percent lower growth there are 1 million fewer jobs. 

When debt gets over that 90 percent mark, we choke off the kind of private-sector investment that creates jobs and the resources needed to take care of those in need. Forty-nine states have a legal obligation to spend with their means, and the federal government should too, he said. 

The amendment would require a two-thirds majority vote of both houses of Congress, and ratification by three-fourths of the states. 

“What a great way for us to join together at a federal and a state level to make sure that we live within our means, that we balance our budget, and that we do the things we need to to not only get this economy back on track, but to make sure that future generations can enjoy the great country, the great opportunity that we and those that have gone before us have enjoyed in the United States of America,” he said. “We have that opportunity. We need to seize that opportunity by passing this balanced budget amendment.” 

Hoeven and a group of Republican senators, including Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, later held a media availability to discuss the measure and take questions from reporters.

Balanced Budget Press Conference

Senator John Hoeven addresses balancing the federal budget at a media availability June 29 after speaking on the U.S. Senate floor in support of passing the Balanced Budget Amendment, of which he is an original cosponsor.