Havre Daily News: U. S. budget amendment debate reaches Montana

A slurry of activity about a balanced budget amendment has come up in Montana, with a group of state Republican legislators sending letters to the state’s U. S. lawmakers urging they vote for an amendment to the U. S. Constitution requiring a balanced federal budget.

In a press release about the letter, signed by 80 of the Republican state legislators and sent Monday, state Senate Majority Leader Jeff Essmann of Billings said Montana would be one of the first states to pass such an amendment if it is sent by Congress to the states.

“The clock is ticking for lawmakers in Washington, D.C., to do the right thing. Montana and 48 other states already balance their checkbooks. The federal government should be able to follow our lead, ” Essmann said. “Saddling future generations with an unsustainable debt is not an acceptable solution to our current economic woes. It is high time for Congress to step up and ensure a brighter future for our children and grandchildren by passing a balanced budget amendment. ”

The letter, addressed to Rep. Denny Rehberg, Montana’s Republican represenative, and Democratic Sens. Max Baucus and Jon Tester, was not signed by any Democrats and not by all Republicans in the state Legislature.

Havre’s three Republican lawmakers, Reps. Wendy Warburton and Kris Hansen and Sen. Rowlie Hutton, did sign the letter.

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