A Republican lawmaker wants to add a constitutional amendment that would make a president's inability to balance the budget an impeachable offense.
U.S. Rep. Mo Brooks of Alabama says his Protecting America's Solvency Act would require federal spending to not exceed revenue collected, a goal that much be achieved within five years, according to The Hill
The limit could be suspended with a four-fifths majority vote, or a simple majority during wartime.
But if a deficit occurred for any other reason, the president would face impeachment, according to bill.
Brooks said pressure needs to be put on the president to ensure the government avoids a deficit.
"I have learned from experience that unless there is penalty . . . there is a significant risk that the executive, or for that matter the Senate or the House, won't do it,” said Brooks.
Brooks said the bill requires a balanced budget to be passed in most years, so any deficit would be due to revenue shortfalls that should be small and easily managed by the president.
The deficit will become more critical over time, said Brooks, since each debt ceiling increase adds to the country's overall interest payments, and since the passage of the No Budget, No Pay Act raisest he nation's debt ceiling by $300 billion to $400 billion, tacking on even more in interest payments.
"That's another $6-8 billion no longer available to provide needed services to the American people," he said.
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