The 1789 Amendment (Sen. Judd Gregg)

During this week’s Senate debate of the fiscal year 2010 budget (the reported resolution), I offered the “1789 Amendment.” This amendment was designed to limit our debt, which grows at an alarming rate under the Democrats’ budget plan. The budget will double and ultimately triple the debt. In fact, it creates more debt than under every President from George Washington to George W. Bush combined. By the end of the five-year budget window, debt held by the public will be close to 67% of GDP. That is unsustainable for our economy, makes us more dependent on other countries to finance our debt and threatens the value of our currency. And it is simply wrong to pass that burden of debt and interest on to our children.

The 1789 Amendment would force the government to address the fact that our debt is spiraling out of control. It would create a budgetary point of order against make any budget that doubles, over a ten-year period, the debt already accumulated from 1789 until January 20, 2009. Such a budget would need 60 votes to waive the point of order, instead of allowing a simple majority of 51 senators to push through a plan that doubles or triples the debt. Unfortunately, the Democratic majority succeeded in defeating this important amendment and that is a loss for our future generations.

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