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 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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  • two_amber_lamps

    Barring the law of unintended consequences, I see nothing wrong with this.

  • schreib

    Ahhh, I can dream can’t I?

  • Rick Olson

    Unfortunately, this bill leaves Congress an out. A loophole large enough for a Mack truck to drive through it. This “four fifths majority” or simple majority in time of war, is what I’m talking about.

    It appears to be a good start, but as we all know, getting an amendment to the U.S. Constitution proposed by Congress and then ratified by three-fourths of the states via their respective state Legislatures, is a very high bar to cross.

  • Goon

    The problem is the Government would just steal more of peoples money to redistribute it to the sick lame and the lazy.