skip to main content

H.J.Res. 2 (115th): Proposing a balanced budget amendment to the Constitution of the United States.

About the resolution


The Republican tax reform law passed in December will likely cause trillion-dollar annual deficits starting in 2019 and beyond. That’s not even a Democratic hypothesis — the projections come from a February report from President Trump’s own Treasury Department.

Republicans on April 12 attempted to prevent that outcome — and, according to the more cynical interpretation, attempted to save face shortly after passing a deficit-expanding law — by passing a balanced budget resolution to amend the Constitution.

What the resolution would have done

H.J. Res. 2, introduced by Rep. Bob Goodlatte (R-VA6), proposed a Constitutional amendment that would have required the federal government run a surplus every year. No more deficits, no more adding to the debt.

Under Goodlatte’s proposal, the balanced budget requirement could be waived in …

Sponsor and status

Bob Goodlatte

Sponsor. Representative for Virginia's 6th congressional district. Republican.

Read Text »
Last Updated: Jan 3, 2017
Length: 3 pages
Jan 3, 2017
115th Congress (2017–2019)
Died in a previous Congress

This resolution was introduced in a previous session of Congress but was killed due to a failed vote for cloture, under a fast-track vote called "suspension", or while resolving differences on April 12, 2018.


65 Cosponsors (64 Republicans, 1 Democrat)



Jan 3, 2017

Bills and resolutions are referred to committees which debate the bill before possibly sending it on to the whole chamber.

Apr 12, 2018
Failed in the House Under Suspension

Passage was attempted under a fast-track procedure called "suspension of the rules." The vote failed, but the bill can be voted on again.

H.J.Res. 2 (115th) was a joint resolution in the United States Congress.

A joint resolution is often used in the same manner as a bill. If passed by both the House and Senate in identical form and signed by the President, it becomes a law. Joint resolutions are also used to propose amendments to the Constitution.

Resolutions numbers restart every two years. That means there are other resolutions with the number H.J.Res. 2. This is the one from the 115th Congress.

This joint resolution was introduced in the 115th Congress, which met from Jan 3, 2017 to Jan 3, 2019. Legislation not passed by the end of a Congress is cleared from the books.

How to cite this information.

We recommend the following MLA-formatted citation when using the information you see here in academic work:

“H.J.Res. 2 — 115th Congress: Proposing a balanced budget amendment to the Constitution of the United States.” 2017. May 29, 2023 <>

Where is this information from?

GovTrack automatically collects legislative information from a variety of governmental and non-governmental sources. This page is sourced primarily from, the official portal of the United States Congress. is generally updated one day after events occur, and so legislative activity shown here may be one day behind. Data via the congress project.