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Arrington, Braun Introduce Bicameral Legislation to Balance the Federal Budget

WASHINGTON, DC— This week, Representative Jodey C. Arrington (TX-19) and Senator Mike Braun (R-IN) introduced the Business Cycle Balanced Budget Amendment, legislation requiring the federal government to balance its budget and reign in out-of-control spending.

“If you have more money going out than coming in, you are going broke. Our families and small businesses understand this fundamental principle of budgeting. With $30 trillion in debt, and a looming fiscal crisis on the horizon, Congress needs to put an end to our reckless spending. This legislation offers an innovative approach to balancing our budget gradually over time, while simultaneously accounting for inevitable business and economic cycles,” said Rep. Arrington. “I am proud to work with Senator Braun on introducing the Business Cycle Balanced Budget Amendment, which aims to reign in our uncontrolled spending before we are broke beyond repair.”

“When I came into the Senate a little over three years ago, we were $18 trillion in debt. Now we are at over $30 trillion yet the folks around here shrug it off like business as usual. Every other entity, from families to churches, other nonprofits and even governments at all levels have to balance their budgets,” said Sen. Braun. “This Business Cycle Balanced Budget Amendment would help put us on a path to balance so we can help preserve programs that Americans depend on for generations to come.”

“The American people strongly support a balanced budget amendment (BBA) to the U.S. Constitution, yet federal deficits and debt keep growing. Representative Arrington’s new Business Cycle BBA is a smart approach with a much better chance to rein in overspending than the traditional BBA. Instead of balancing every year, the budget would balance over the business cycle. Spending and revenue policies would be stable and predictable. Surpluses during the good years would more than offset borrowing during recessions. We applaud Representative Arrington for proposing a real fix for the federal budget.” Kurt Couchman, senior fellow in fiscal policy for Americans for Prosperity

H.J.Res. 77 – Business Cycle Balanced Budget Amendment Summary:

  • Balances the budget based on a three-year rolling average of revenue
    • This smooths the budget balancing process and gives greater predictability from year to year – allowing for fluctuations that occur over various business and economic cycles
  • Allows for deficits in times of emergency
    • A two-thirds majority may agree to incur deficits when additional government spending is necessary for economic recessions, pandemics, natural disasters, or military conflicts
  • Establishes a gradual ten-year transition from ratification to balance


Congressman Jodey Arrington is a member of the U.S. House of Representatives serving the Nineteenth Congressional District of Texas. He serves as a member of the House Ways and Means Committee.