A balanced budget amendment with teeth
Congressmen have been stating recently that they would not vote to raise the debt ceiling unless Congress agrees to pass a balanced budget Constitutional amendment.
Why do they need a new Constitutional amendment when there is a law that requires a balanced budget?
The US Congress passed and the President signed (on August 5, 1997) The Balance Budget Act (Public Law 105-33) requiring a balanced budget be passed by 2002. More Information. So when have we had a balanced budget? This year the Senate has refused to even discuss it.
The scofflaw Congress has had no problem ignoring the statutory mandate, so why should anyone believe they would obey a Constitutional mandate?
What is needed is a Constitutional amendment (rather than a law that can be voided by Congress) that states there shall be no remuneration for Congress, the Congressional staff, the President and the Executive Office of the President for any day in any fiscal year for which there is no balanced budget. And there shall be no retroactive remuneration later if such a balanced budget is eventually passed and signed into law. They should not be paid for any day they fail to do their job.