CHN: Balanced Budget Amendment Falls in the House

Advocates celebrated on April 12 when a vote in the House to amend the Constitution of the United States to require Congress to balance the federal budget every year failed to receive the votes needed for passage. The measure needed a two-thirds majority, or 290 votes, to pass, but only 233 representatives voted in favor of it. Only seven Democrats supported the balanced budget amendment; only six Republicans voted against it.

Advocates have fought against a balanced budget amendment for years, stating that it would be disastrous for low-income people because of the cuts it would force to programs that help people achieve basic living standards. Advocates particularly object to such an amendment now, just months after Congress voted to give away trillions of dollars in tax cuts to the wealthy and corporations. CHN joined more than 270 organizations in 2016 to oppose a balanced budget amendment and continues to oppose one now. Despite the fact that the measure failed in the House, the Senate is expected to take it up after the Memorial Day congressional recess. For more information on why a balanced budget amendment would be disastrous, see this blog.

Budget and Appropriations