As National Debt Climbs Above $22 Trillion, Tester Spearheads Push to Balance the Budget

Constitutional amendment will require federal government to reduce spending, increase efficiency

(U.S. Senate)-As the national debt climbs above $22 trillion, U.S. Senator Jon Tester is spearheading a legislative push to amend the Constitution to require Congress to pass a balanced budget.

Tester’s Constitutional amendment will prevent the federal government from spending more money that it receives in tax revenue. Under the amendment, any budget that adds to the national debt must pass with a three-fifths majority vote from both the Senate and the House of Representatives.

“A $22 trillion national debt steals from the bright future we want for our kids and grandkids,” Tester said. “If we keep swiping this country’s credit card so recklessly, it’ll have profoundly damaging impacts on our economy, national security, and quality of life. We’ve got to act, and this bill is a responsible way to get the federal government back on track.”

In 2017, Congress passed a partisan tax giveaway to the wealthy that added more than $2 trillion to the national debt. Tester was the only member of Montana’s congressional delegation who opposed that bill.

The non-partisan Congressional Budget Office released projections earlier this year stating that as a result of the tax giveaway, the annual federal budget deficit is $900 billion. The annual deficit will reach $1 trillion annually beginning in 2022.

Tester’s bill to require Congress to pass a balanced budget each year includes provisions that protect essential safety nets such as Social Security and Medicare payments, as well as maintain existing debt payments to avoid default.

Before Montanans elected Tester to the U.S. Senate, he served as President of the Montana State Senate where he helped author and pass a balanced budget every two years.

Tester’s balanced budget amendment is available HERE.