Levin talks to Orrin Hatch about new balanced-budget amendment

Mark Levin had Orrin Hatch on his radio show to talk about the newly proposed Balanced Budget Amendment by himself and John Cornyn. Levin fully supports it and says that it is fundamental to putting us on the right fiscal path. Hatch describes what this newly proposed amendment will actually do:

  1. Its mandates that total budgetary outlays for any fiscal year not exceed total revenues unless you have a two thirds vote to overturn it.
  2. It caps federal spending at 20% of GDP.
  3. It requires the President to submit a balanced budget to Congress every fiscal year.
  4. It prohibits revenue raising measures (like increasing taxes) that are not approved by two thirds of both the House and Senate.
  5. Provisions can be waived if there is a formal declaration of war or if the US is engaged in a military conflict constituting a threat to national security or if two thirds of both the House and the Senate approve.

There are Republican Senators who want to cap spending at around 17% or 18% but Hatch argues that it likely won’t pass if it’s that low. He believes 20% is a reasonable number that will appeal to the 20 or so Democrats needed to get this through the Senate and into the House. Once it passes there it will go to the states where it will need a two thirds majority, but Hatch is very optimistic that now is the time for this amendment to pass. He’s been working on getting it passed for over three decades.

Noting the spending cap in the amendment, Mark Levin added this via email:

I would prefer the GDP level set at 17%. But 20% is better than 25% and the other provisions of the amendment are very important as well. I believe we really need to get behind this.

Note: Despite the stated length of the video, the audio stops around 6:15. Also this is an edited version of Levin’s interview with Hatch as the full interview went over 12 minutes.

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