Senators Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.), Mark Udall (D-Colo.), Mark Begich (D-Alaska), Claire McCaskill (D-Mo.), Heidi Heitkamp (D-N.D.) and Jon Tester (D-Mont.) introduced a constitutional amendment today that would require the federal government to balance its budget and restore fiscal discipline in Washington. The amendment would direct Congress to balance the federal budget each year and would require that federal spending not exceed revenues except in exceptional cases, such as when the nation is at war.

Under the amendment, the balanced budget requirement could be suspended only if three-fifths of the members of the U.S. Senate and U.S. House of Representatives agree.

“I truly believe that most Americans not only support a balanced federal budget — they manage their own lives with a balanced budget. It’s time for the federal government to do the same,” Manchin said. “Balancing our budget is simple common sense, and this constitutional amendment would ensure that we put our fiscal house in order. With our nation approaching $17 trillion in debt, and growing by the day, it’s time for the federal government to start living within its means. This is the kind of positive step that the people of my state and this great nation are so eager to see from Washington.”

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