Jul 14 2011

Graham Pushes Congressional Passage of Balanced Budget Amendment

WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Lindsey Graham (R-South Carolina) today made this statement on the debt-limit negotiations and his support for a Balanced Budget Amendment to the Constitution.

“President Obama’s warning to Republicans that he will take the debt limit issue to the American people is music to my ears.  Mr. President, I do not fear such a debate.  Quite frankly, I welcome it.

“While I disagree with President Obama on many issues regarding our current fiscal situation, I do agree with his suggestion we give the American people a voice in this matter.

“For that reason, President Obama should support - not oppose - a Balanced Budget Amendment to the Constitution.  When President Obama rejects the idea we need the discipline of a Balanced Budget Amendment he is either in denial or realizes it would be a death-blow to government expansion in perpetuity.  Either way, his opposition is misplaced and should cease.

“Mr. President, sending the Balanced Budget Amendment to the states for ratification would indeed be giving the American people their say.  Ratification requires three-fourth of the states to approve and the process itself is the ultimate opportunity for the American people to have a voice in how Congress functions.  I’m confident if given this choice, Americans from all corners, would approve this change.

“From my own personal experience, I do not believe either party has the will to bring about a balanced budget.  It is clear special interest politics on both the left and right grow stronger every year. The only way to bring about a balanced budget each year is through a balanced budget requirement like 49 of the 50 states already have.

“What rational person could ever think Congress will do the hard things required to balance the budget given our history for the last forty years?

“That is why I am urging the House to pass legislation that would raise the debt ceiling, contingent on Congress passing a Balanced Budget Amendment to the Constitution.  This process allows the American people to have their voices heard and would lead to the structural changes we need to get our nation’s fiscal house in order.

“It is for these reasons I urge President Obama to join our efforts to pass a Balanced Budget Constitutional Amendment."