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GUEST COMMENTARY: Kudos to Missouri General Assembly for balanced-budget resolution

Monday, January 25, 2010 | 12:01 a.m. CST; updated 10:52 a.m. CDT, Tuesday, May 4, 2010

As our economy continues to struggle, hard-working families across our state have faced tough choices by simply working to balance their household budgets. The basic notion of not spending more than you take in is what keeps many families’ financial heads above water. It’s unfortunate that Congress doesn’t seem to understand that and is drowning in debt.

As a former member of the Missouri General Assembly, my colleagues on both sides of the political aisle understood that we were required by law to balance the state budget. That is why it makes me extremely proud that state Rep. Chris Kelly, D-Columbia, and state Rep. Allen Icet, R-St. Louis County, have filed a resolution calling for Congress to pass a constitutional amendment forcing the federal government to balance the budget. Currently, 49 of 50 state governments including Missouri have a balanced budget requirement.

How to contact the congressman

As always, I encourage you to visit our Web site at luetkemeyer.house.gov. I also encourage you to call our offices in Columbia at 886-8928; Washington, Mo., at 636-239-2276; or Hannibal at 573-231-1012 with your questions and concerns. If you want even greater access to what I am working on, please visit our YouTube site and our Facebook page.


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Clearly, as recent events have shown in places like Massachusetts, people are angry about the spending spree that has been going on in Washington for far too long and it’s good to see our state lawmakers stepping up in bi-partisan fashion to express the concerns of constituents.

As a freshman congressman, I was shocked when I saw firsthand the path of irresponsible spending that Congress had previously been engaged in and have been appalled by the outrageous and even more dangerous pace of spending since then.  

That is why during my first days in office I proudly co-sponsored House Joint Resolution 1, a constitutional amendment to prohibit Congress from spending more than it receives in revenues, to require the president to submit a balanced budget to Congress and to require a three-fifths majority vote to increase the debt limit, while also providing an exception in times of national emergencies.

Unfortunately, the measure that more than 100 of my colleagues in Congress signed has gone nowhere, while our budget deficit that we will burden our children and grandchildren with can now be quantified in the trillions, not billions. Even as I write this, the Senate is considering a bill to increase the amount of debt the government can issue by $1.9 trillion to $14.3 trillion.

Even more disturbing is that the budget-breaking spending that is going on in Washington is being financed by you, the very same folks who understand that you can’t spend lavishly when times are tough.

I hope that the Reps. Kelly and Icet garner the necessary bi-partisan support for their measure in the Missouri General Assembly because it’s critical that your voices are heard loud and clear in Washington. I have heard this call for many months and will continue to heed it and encourage my colleagues from both sides of the aisle to do the same.

Blaine Luetkemeyer is the representative for Missouri's 9th Congressional District.

 


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