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H.J.Res. 81 (112th): Proposing a balanced budget amendment to the Constitution of the United States.

The text of the bill below is as of Oct 14, 2011 (Introduced).



1st Session

H. J. RES. 81


October 14, 2011

(for himself, Mr. Bucshon, Mr. Campbell, Mr. Duncan of South Carolina, Mr. Gardner, Mr. Gosar, Mr. Lipinski, Mr. Mulvaney, Mr. Polis, Mr. Woodall, Mr. Labrador, Mr. Walberg, Mr. Gowdy, Mr. Walsh of Illinois, Mr. Pompeo, Mr. Graves of Georgia, Mr. Quigley, Mr. Loebsack, Mr. Shuler, Mr. Ribble, Mr. Michaud, Mr. Huelskamp, Mr. Schrader, Mr. Southerland, Mr. Rokita, Mr. Yoder, Mr. Stutzman, Mr. Nugent, Mr. Burton of Indiana, Mr. Culberson, and Mr. Moran) introduced the following joint resolution; which was referred to the Committee on the Judiciary


Proposing a balanced budget amendment to the Constitution of the United States.

That the following article is proposed as an amendment to the Constitution of the United States, which shall be valid to all intents and purposes as part of the Constitution when ratified by the legislatures of three-fourths of the several States within seven years after the date of its submission for ratification:


Total outlays for a year shall not exceed the average annual revenue collected in the three prior years, adjusted in proportion to changes in population and inflation. Total outlays shall include all outlays of the United States except those for payment of debt, and revenue shall include all revenue of the United States except that derived from borrowing.


Two-thirds of each House of Congress may by roll call vote declare an emergency and provide by law for specific outlays in excess of the limit in section 1. The declaration shall specify reasons for the emergency designation and shall limit the period in which outlays may exceed the limit in section 1 to no longer than one year.


All revenue in excess of outlays shall reduce the debt of the United States. Upon the retirement of such debt, revenue in excess of outlays shall be held by the Treasury to be used as specified in section 2.


The Congress shall have power to enforce and implement this article by appropriate legislation.


This article shall take effect in the first year beginning at least 90 days following ratification, except that outlays shall not surpass the sum of the limit described in section 1 and the following portion of the prior year’s outlays exceeding that limit (excepting emergency outlays as provided for in section 2): nine-tenths in the first year, eight-ninths in the second, seven-eighths in the third, six-sevenths in the fourth, five-sixths in the fifth, four-fifths in the sixth, three-fourths in the seventh, two-thirds in the eighth, one-half in the ninth, and the limit shall bind in the tenth year and thereafter.