Dear Friend,

This is the final in a series of email newsletters explaining the different parts of the Budget Control Act, which was signed into law last week.  This e-newsletter focuses on the Balanced Budget Amendment (BBA) part of the legislation.

As you might recall, House Republicans passed the Cut, Cap and Balance Act in late July, which included a BBA.  Unfortunately, that bill was immediately killed when it reached the Senate. The Budget Control Act gives the BBA a chance of moving through the House and the Senate and then on to the states for ratification.

The Act requires both the House and Senate to vote on passage of a BBA to the Constitution by December 31, 2011.  Neither the House or Senate can use procedural maneuvers to avoid holding the vote – an up-or-down vote must be held.

Fifteen years ago, the BBA passed the House with bipartisan support, only to lose by one vote in the Senate.  Since then, the debt has grown by $9.2 trillion.  Just imagine how different our situation would be if the Senate had not defeated this commonsense measure.  The BBA is a very serious solution to our nation’s fiscal crisis.  The stakes could not be higher. The downgrade of our credit rating indicates that the markets are not confident in our ability to repay our debts. This is just one of the many consequences of years of reckless spending.

The BBA is the best opportunity to ensure fiscal responsibility by the federal government.  Fiscal conservatives control only ½ of 1/3 of our government, but the Budget Control Act will make sure that the President doesn’t receive a blank check to continue his spending binge and that the old ways of Washington of blindly increasing the debt limit without spending controls are over.

Kay Granger