Ohio’s 15th Congressional District, and communities across the country, still need help to rebound from the pandemic. I am determined to find common ground with my colleagues to pass policies that help all Americans.
But as we consider additional COVID-19 relief, we cannot stray away from narrow, targeted relief. We need to be mindful of the burden of debt for future generations, who will be forced to foot the bill for this borrowed money.
Thankfully, there is room for bipartisanship in that goal, and widespread support for policies such as rental assistance, stimulus checks, and unemployment benefits. These are all temporary policies we can enact to get necessary relief those who need it.
But there is no room for partisan policies not focused and tailored to COVID-19 relief.
If any future relief becomes a trojan horse for either party’s political wish list, there will be consequences. Just last week, the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) unveiled their findings related to America’s deficit.
Last year, the federal debt reached 100 percent of our nation’s economic output.
This fiscal year, it is expected to rise beyond 100 percent. By 2031, our nation’s federal debt is projected to amount to 107 percent of the size of our economy. This grim outlook only confirmed what we already knew, our debt is growing, and we must do something about it.
The answer, in my opinion, is to finally pass a balanced budget amendment to the U.S. Constitution.
Of the states, (Vermont is the exception) 49 are required to balance their budgets, and in the past decade, several nations have added balanced budget provisions, including our allies like France, Germany, Spain, and Italy.
Since being elected to Congress, I have sponsored a balanced budget amendment. My version of the amendment includes an exception for spending in times of national emergency – like an unprecedented global pandemic – but it requires the debt to be repaid within 10 years.
No one is denying that we need to act now to support the millions of Americans who are suffering through no fault of their own, but we cannot do so at the expense of future generations.
We owe it to the next generations to find solutions that help our country now, and in the long term.
Together, I am confident that we can put policies in place to put our nation on a path to success.
If you would like to learn more about the balanced budget amendment, contact my Washington, D.C. office at (202) 225-2015, my Hilliard office at (614) 771-4968, my Lancaster office at (740) 654-2654, or my Wilmington office at (937) 283-7049.
Steve Stivers (R-Ohio) represents the state’s 15th District in the U.S. House of Representatives.