Republican files balanced budget amendment making deficits an impeachable offense

Rep. Mo Brooks (R-Ala.) this week proposed a balanced-budget amendment to the Constitution that would make the president’s failure to enforce that amendment an impeachable offense.

His Protecting America’s Solvency Act, H.R. 371, would let the debt ceiling rise by $1 trillion after congressional passage of the balanced-budget amendment. The ceiling could rise another $1 trillion after states ratify it.

The bill says the amendment must require federal spending not to exceed the revenue it collects, a goal it must meet after five years. But it does allow Congress to suspend this limit with a four-fifths majority vote, or by a simple majority during wartime.

If a budget deficit occurred for any other reason, the president would have to take “such steps as are necessary” to avoid it. Failure would leave him open to impeachment.

“The President may not order any increase in taxes or other revenue measures to enforce the Amendment,” the bill reads. “A President’s failure to prevent a prohibited fiscal year deficit is an impeachable offense.”

Rob Port is the editor of SayAnythingBlog.com. In 2011 he was a finalist for the Watch Dog of the Year from the Sam Adams Alliance and winner of the Americans For Prosperity Award for Online Excellence. In 2013 the Washington Post named SAB one of the nation's top state-based political blogs, and named Rob one of the state's best political reporters. He writes a weekly column for several North Dakota newspapers, and also serves as a policy fellow for the North Dakota Policy Council.

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