Coats, who serves on the Joint Economic Committee, announced his support Monday for a balanced budget amendment to the Constitution that would force the government to balance its budget, limit the growth of federal spending and require supermajorities for tax increases.

Lawmakers are working on a major deficit reduction deal to reduce the national debt. Democrats have called for more revenue by eliminating tax loopholes for the wealthy, while Republicans have called for spending cuts on entitlement programs.

Republicans have tried to pass balanced budget amendments in the past and failed. Coats said he believes if a balanced budget amendment had become law, the United States would be in better fiscal standing today and not be more than $16 trillion in debt.

“If this amendment had passed and been ratified by three-fourths of our states, I believe we would not be faced with the financial challenges that exist today,” Coats said.

Coats’ advocated for a balanced budget amendment that would cap federal spending at 18 percent of gross domestic product (GDP), require a supermajority to raise the debt limit, require the president to submit a balanced budget to Congress every year and require a two-thirds supermajority for any revenue increases.