Dear Senator Pryor, why not pass the Balanced Budget Amendment? (“Thirsty Thursday”, Open letter to Senator Pryor)

Dear Senator Pryor,

Why not pass the Balanced  Budget amendment? As you know that federal deficit is at all time high (1.6 trillion deficit with revenues of 2.2 trillion and spending at 3.8 trillion).

On my blog I took you at your word and sent you over 100 emails with specific spending cut ideas. However, I did not see any of them in the recent debt deal that Congress adopted. Now I am trying another approach. Every week from now on I will send you an email explaining different reasons why we need the Balanced Budget Amendment. It will appear on my blog on “Thirsty Thursday” because the government is always thirsty for more money to spend.

We need to pass the Balanced Budget Amendment soon. I am glad that at least some people see the importance of that.


Roanoke Congressman Bob Goodlatte hopes things will be different this time, for his balanced budget amendment bill.

The new Chairman of the House Judiciary Committee introduced the bills on Thursday, with the start of the 113th Congress.  Rep. Goodlatte (R-6th) had introduced the bills in the prior three Congresses, but they have not been adopted.

“When I introduced these bills two years ago, the national debt had topped an unprecedented $14 trillion,” wrote Rep. Goodlatte in a news release.  “Today, the national debt has soared well past a staggering $16 trillion.  This rapid increase in debt and four consecutive trillion dollar plus budget deficits are clear signs that Washington has a serious spending problem.”

Goodlatte’s bill would:

  • Require Congress to not spend more money than the country takes in
  • Require the President to submit a balanced budget to Congress
  • Require a 3/5th majority vote to increase the federal debt limit

The bill provides exceptions in times of national emergencies.

Goodlatte noted that 49 of the 50 U.S. states, including Virginia, have a balanced budget requirement.

5th District Congressman Robert Hurt (R-Chatham) signed on as a co-sponsor of Rep. Goodlatte’s bill.

“For far too long, members of both parties have chosen the politically expedient course over what is in the best interest of our nation – casting aside meaningful proposals for deficit reduction and carrying our nation further along on a careless spending binge.  As a result, we have witnessed the devastating consequences for the people of Virginia’s 5th District and those all across our country as unemployment levels have remained unacceptably high and the debt continues to grow. At a time when we are borrowing 45 cents on the dollar and rapidly adding to a more than $16 trillion debt, there is no greater duty to those we represent than to get serious about fixing this spending-driven debt crisis,” Rep. Hurt wrote in a news release.


The Balanced Budget Amendment is the only thing I can think of that would force Washington to cut spending. We have only a handful of balanced budgets in the last 60 years, so obviously what we are doing is not working. We are passing along this debt to the next generation.

Thank you for this opportunity to share my ideas with you.


Everette Hatcher,

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