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MO House Bill Calls for Balancing Federal Budget

By Marshall Griffin

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. – A Missouri House committee has passed a resolution calling for a balanced budget amendment to be added to the U.S. Constitution.

The resolution is sponsored by GOP House Member Dwight Scharnhorst of St. Louis County. He told the House Budget Committee that not having a balanced federal budget threatens to reduce America to a second-class country.

"When you can't pay your bills, you are addressed in a different manner and you're treated in a different way, and I think we're starting to see the very front edges of that right now, as our president goes around the world and negotiates and speaks with leaders in other countries," said Scharnhorst.

The resolution passed easily, but not unanimously. Freshman Democrat Genise Montecillo cast one of three "no" votes:

"My focus should be getting people back to work and job creation, not sending resolutions to the federal government," said Montecillo

As currently written, the resolution would require a federal balanced budget within three years of ratification. But Scharnhorst says he'll add language expanding that timetable to 15 years if his measure makes it to the Missouri House floor.

In 1983, Missouri lawmakers passed a similar resolution, although it called for a constitutional convention to add a federal balanced budget amendment. This year's resolution does not call for a convention.

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