Fraser Co-Sponsors and Votes for
Federal Balanced Budget Amendment
Austin — Senator Troy Fraser (R-Horseshoe Bay) voted on Thursday to ask the U.S. Congress to submit a balanced budget amendment to the states for ratification by the end of 2011. If Congress fails to act, the Texas Legislature would ask Congress to call a constitutional convention to require a balanced budget.
"The State of Texas operates within a constitutional spending limit," said Fraser. "It is outrageous that the federal government, with its ability to collect an enormous amount of revenue, cannot do the same."
For much of the 20th century and into the 21st century, the United States has operated with a budget deficit - spending far more than it takes in. In the 2010 budget year, the budget deficit surpassed $1.3 trillion which is more than the entire gross state product of Texas.
"Our request is only for the convention to propose a balanced budget amendment," Fraser said. "If the convention begins to propose amendments on other issues, Texas would rescind its application."
"Federal spending is out of control and Congress has been unwilling to stop the trend on its own," said Fraser. "Now, more than ever, a balanced budget amendment is needed."
According to the resolution, the consequences of current federal spending policies are far-reaching. Costly federal programs that are essentially unfunded or underfunded mandates to states threaten the ability of state and local governments to continue to balance their budgets. The resolution goes on to say that future generations of Americans inevitably face increased taxation and a weakened economy as a direct result of the bloated debt.
"I believe that all Texans support a balanced budget amendment," said Fraser. "Over the last couple of years, Texans have tightened their belts and lived within their means. Our federal government should do the same."
Senate Joint Resolution 1 was adopted by the Senate Committee on State Affairs on Thursday, February 17, 2011. It now goes to the full Senate for consideration.
Senator Fraser represents a 21-county region in the geographic center of the state. He is the Chairman of the Senate Committee on Natural Resources. He also sits on the following standing Senate Committees: Business and Commerce, Nominations, State Affairs, and International Relations and Trade