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Congressman Mike Johnson

Representing the 4th District of Louisiana

Johnson Takes to House Floor in Support of Balanced Budget Amendment

April 12, 2018
Press Release

Washington, D.C. – On Thursday, Rep. Mike Johnson (LA-04) spoke on the House floor in favor of a balanced budget amendment to the Constitution of the United States. Johnson’s remarks can be found below, and a video of his speech can be found here

Rep. Johnson: As virtually every American now understands, Washington is broken. For years, Congress has spent irresponsibly and with what seems to be little or no thought for how it might affect future generations. We are passing along a bill that our children and grandchildren may never be able to pay, and it's as immoral as it is unsustainable. Meanwhile, our nation’s top military officials have repeatedly warned Congress that the number one threat to our national security is our debt. We have no choice but to correct this wrong and institute policies that promote fiscal responsibility.

Currently, our national debt exceeds $20 trillion, and that number increases every second. When I do town halls back home, I put the debt clock up on the screen and allow our constituents to watch that clock toll. It’s frightening. The last omnibus package, a whopping 2,232 pages, allocated another $1.3 trillion. That’s about $582 million of federal spending per page. Our government is out of control, and we have to put an end to the dangerous and clearly excessive spending patterns coming out of Washington and out of this body.

As I have said on more than one occasion, people all across America sit down at their kitchen tables and create budgets for their families. Small businesses make countless sacrifices to manage their balance sheets. Our government should act no differently. We cannot continue to spend money we don’t have and drive ourselves further into the debt of hostile nations like China, who is the primary creditor in holding all of our debt. Passing a balanced budget amendment is a common-sense solution that will put us back on the right track and restore fiscal sanity to the Congress.

The balanced budget amendment will ensure our government acts as a good steward of America’s tax dollars not only today, but for all the days in the future. It has the potential to make the bloated budgets of Washington a thing of the past. Opponents of this amendment will say that passing this will force serious cuts to our budget. And to that, we respond and say, "Of course it will." We simply cannot get out of the hole we have created without making tough decisions. But that’s our job. That’s why we’re elected as the dually elected representatives of the people. Right now our country faces a point of no return with our debt, and there should be nothing controversial about telling our federal government to act within its means. This is simply about aligning and agreeing upon our top priorities.

Thomas Jefferson said that the representatives of a nation should never take on more debt than they themselves can pay in their own lifetime. We abandoned that principle a long time ago, and unfortunately, we have already far exceeded that amount in this body and in our lifetime. It is now our moral obligation to right this wrong. This is really about who we are as Americans if you listen to the founders. That is why I urge my colleagues to support the balanced budget amendment to the Constitution and help restore and preserve the American dream for our children and for all future generations. We owe that to the country. Fiscal sanity, responsibility and good stewardship are why we were sent here, and it is what we must do.