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Camp Statement on Balanced Budget Amendment Failure

March 31, 2015

Washington, DC – Today, Ways and Means Chairman Dave Camp (R-MI) released the following statement in reaction to the Balanced Budget Amendment failing to pass in the U.S. House of Representatives:

“The debt, which hit a staggering $15 trillion this week, is weakening our economy and is costing us about 1 million jobs.  A Balanced Budget Amendment would force Washington to stop spending more money than it takes in, which would help strengthen our economy and get Americans back to work.  I am disappointed that not enough Members backed this commonsense legislation.” 

  • Camp has long supported balancing the federal budget and was part of the team that actually did so for the first time in a generation in the 1990s.
  • Camp voted for the balanced budget amendment (H.J.Res.1) that passed the House of Representatives on January 26, 1995 that had the support of 72 Democrats, 12 of whom are still in Congress today. 
  • The amendment was later defeated by one vote in the Senate.Under President Obama, debt held by the public has increased by almost $4 trillion or 63 percent.
  • To make matters worse, the number of unemployed Americans has also skyrocketed during the Obama Administration with almost 2 million more individuals unemployed. 
  • This represents a 16 percent increase in the number of unemployed individuals since President Obama took office.
  • This represents a combined 79 percent increase in debt and unemployment.  As the chart below shows, this is the highest Obama Misery Index on record.

Source: Ways and Means staff calculations, using Department of Labor and Department of Treasury data.