Lee Introduces Balanced Budget Amendment

February 16, 2023


WASHINGTON – Sens. Mike Lee (R-UT) and Chuck Grassley (R-IA) introduced an amendment to the United States Constitution requiring the federal government to balance its budget each year. Sen. Lee has consistently advocated for binding, structural spending reforms embedded in a constitutional amendment.


The need for a balanced budget amendment is needed now more than ever. At the beginning of the 118th Congress, the national debt reached $31.38 trillion. For the first time since World War II, the federal public debt has reached 100% of GDP, meaning the federal government will soon owe more in debt than the annual size of the American economy. That number is projected to double to 200% by 2050, when our net interest payments will be the single largest budget item, exceeding the size of Social Security and Medicare. For perspective, fifteen years ago, the U.S. public debt as a size of our economy was only 35%.


Sen. Lee's amendment would force Congress to balance its budget each year, limit spending to no more than 18% of GDP, and require a supermajority vote in both the House and Senate before raising taxes or increasing the nation’s debt ceiling. Perpetual deficits and debt debilitate economic growth. For all the gains realized through economic expansion, debt, and deficits rob the American people of their future. 


Of the amendment, Sen. Lee said, “We cannot rely on self-imposed, statutory spending limits that Congress can waive with a simple majority. To restore fiscal responsibility, we must enact a permanent structural spending restraint. If we want to eliminate deficits, reduce the national debt, reduce spending, preserve our constitutional priorities, and save our economy, it starts with the balanced budget amendment. It is the only solution that guarantees the enforcement of future reforms.


For full text of the amendment, click HERE.

For a one-pager of the amendment, click HERE.