Rep. Mo Brooks (R-AL), one of the Republican congressmen swept into office by the Tea Party movement in 2010, might want to read that constitution he claims to revere so much. He’s proposing a constitutional amendment that allows the impeachment of the president if the budget is not balanced.
His Protecting America’s Solvency Act, H.R. 371, would let the debt ceiling rise by $1 trillion after congressional passage of the balanced-budget amendment. The ceiling could rise another $1 trillion after states ratify it.
The bill says the amendment must require federal spending not to exceed the revenue it collects, a goal it must meet after five years. But it does allow Congress to suspend this limit with a four-fifths majority vote, or by a simple majority during wartime.
If a budget deficit occurred for any other reason, the president would have to take “such steps as are necessary” to avoid it. Failure would leave him open to impeachment.“The President may not order any increase in taxes or other revenue measures to enforce the Amendment,” the bill reads. “A President’s failure to prevent a prohibited fiscal year deficit is an impeachable offense.”
Seriously, has he never read the Constitution? The president can’t spend — or refuse to spend — a dime that is not appropriated by Congress. Congress controls the budget, not the president, who can only sign or veto the appropriation bills that the legislature passes.