Tester’s Constitutional Amendment Would Force President, Congress to Deliver Balanced Budgets

Senator continues longstanding work to lower costs for Montanans and reduce the debt

As part of his efforts to lower costs for Montanans and reign in unnecessary government spending, U.S. Senator Jon Tester today re-introduced his Constitutional amendment that would require the President and Congress to deliver balanced budgets by preventing the federal government from spending more money than it receives in tax revenue.

“At a time when Montanans are struggling with rising costs on everything from housing to groceries, the President and Congress must do more to reign in unnecessary government spending and act as responsible stewards for our economy,” said Tester. “The $34 trillion national debt is both unacceptable and unsustainable. That’s why I’m re-introducing my Constitutional amendment to require balanced budgets so we don’t pass an unpayable bill onto our kids and grandkids.”  

In January, the U.S. government’s debt topped $34 trillion for the first time in history. Under Tester’s amendment, any appropriations legislation that adds to the national debt must pass with a three-fifths majority vote from both the Senate and the House of Representatives. It also requires that the President’s proposed budgets be balanced.

Tester’s amendment 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. 

In 2022, Tester passed the Inflation Reduction Act – targeted legislation to lower costs for families and pay down America’s debt as the largest debt reduction in more than a decade. Tester was the only member of Montana’s congressional delegation to vote for the Inflation Reduction Act to reduce the debt. 

Tester has previously introduced his balanced budget amendment in prior Congresses. 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 full balanced budget amendment can be read HERE.