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Introduced by Rep. Dave Brat (R-VA)

Bipartisan Cosponsors: Reps. Amash, Bishop (MI), Blackburn, Blum, Bridenstine, Buck, Bryne, Carter (GA), Clawson, Cramer, DesJarlais, Duncan (SC), Fincher, Fleming, Franks, Garrett, Gibson, Gosar, Gowdy, Griffith, Grothman, Guinta, Guthrie, Harris, Jones, Jordan, Labrador, Lipinski, Loudermilk, Love, Marino, Massie, McClintock, Meadows, Messer, Moolenaar, Mooney, Newhouse, Palazzo, Perry, Posey, Ratcliffe, Renacci, Ribble, Rice, Rigell, Rohrabacher, Rokita, Salmon, Sanford, Schweikert, Scott, Sensenbrenner, Stivers, Stutzman, Walberg, Walker, Webster, Westerman, Yoho, Zeldin, and Zinke

Endorsed by National Taxpayers Union


  • Requires Balance: Possibly over multiple years. Lets Congress use implementing legislation for the details. For example, balance could be annual, biennial, structural, or otherwise.
  • Emergency Spending: 2/3 of House and Senate, the Constitution’s standard supermajority. Expectation that emergency debt is ultimately paid back.
  • Ten Years to Balance: After ratification, just like recent budget resolutions.
  • Simple Principles: With 119 words in three sections, H. J. Res. 55 outlines basic principles similar to existing Constitutional language. The other bipartisan BBAs have 217 words in four sections and 325 words in eight sections, and both are more specific.

Reasons to Support

  • Bipartisan Appeal: No controversial provisions.
  • Restores Mandate: Fiscal responsibility is a moral and prudential obligation. It should be legal as well.
  • Flexible: Simple principles that Congress implements through the normal legislative process.
  • Maintains Balance of Powers: Doesn’t create new powers or responsibilities for executive or judicial branches.
  • Timely: Only five more State legislatures are needed to convene an Article V convention for proposing a BBA. Several more are expected to call for one in 2016.

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