President Obama is still seeking the largest deficit reduction deal possible as part of a package deal to raise the debt ceiling, he said in a press conference today.
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America has reached a critical turning point in the way our government does business. On May 16, the U.S. hit the $14,300,000,000,000 debt ceiling, meaning the country can no longer borrow money without Congressional action. Put simply, the spending spree is over. My Democratic colleagues refuse to face reality and join with the majority of Americans that want real spending reforms. The Treasury Department has even begun borrowing money from federal retirement pension funds just to continue the Democrats spending binge. The government is already expected to run a $1.5 trillion deficit this year, and if things continue down this path, we’ll end up piling more debt on top of that just to sustain the status quo.
REQUIREMENT TO PASS A BALANCED BUDGET
With the following limited exceptions, Congress must pass a balanced budget:
- Requires 2/3 of both Houses for a specific deficit for a fiscal year.
- Requires a majority of Congress for a specific deficit for a fiscal year during a declared war.
- Requires 3/5 of Congress for a specific deficit for a fiscal year during a military conflict declared to be “an imminent and serious military threat to national security” and the deficit must be limited to “outlays…made necessary by the identified conflict.”
18 PERCENT SPENDING CAP
With the following limited exceptions, Congress must limit outlays to 18 percent of GDP:
- Requires 2/3 of both Houses for a specific excess above 18 percent for a fiscal year.
- Requires a majority of Congress for a specific excess above 18 percent for a fiscal year during adeclared war.
- Requires 3/5 of Congress for a specific excess above 18 percent for a fiscal year during a military conflict declared to be “an imminent and serious military threat to national security” and the excess be limited to “outlays…made necessary by the identified conflict.”
SUPERMAJORITY FOR TAX INCREASES
Establishes new supermajority requirement for net tax and rate increases:
- Requires 2/3 of both Houses for any bill “that imposes a new tax or increases the statutory rate of any tax or the aggregate amount of revenue.”
o Excludes increases in revenue resulting from tax cuts.
SUPERMAJORITY TO RAISE THE DEBT LIMIT
Establishes new supermajority requirement for an increase in the debt limit:
- Requires 3/5 of both Houses to increase the debt limit.
- Requires a majority of Congress for a fiscal year during a declared war.
CONGRESSIONAL ENFORCEMENT AND USE OF ESTIMATES
- Provides for congressional enforcement and the use of estimates.
LIMITS ON COURTS
- Prohibits courts from ordering revenue increases to enforce.
· Becomes effective the fifth fiscal year after ratification.
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