Summary: S.J.Res.39 — 115th Congress (2017-2018)All Information (Except Text)

There is one summary for S.J.Res.39. Bill summaries are authored by CRS.

Shown Here:
Introduced in Senate (03/30/2017)

Constitutional Amendment

This joint resolution proposes a constitutional amendment prohibiting total outlays for a fiscal year from exceeding total receipts for that fiscal year unless Congress authorizes the excess by a three-fifths roll call vote of each chamber.

The prohibition excludes:

  • outlays for repayment of debt principal,
  • receipts derived from borrowing,
  • receipts or outlays of the Social Security and Medicare trust funds, and
  • outlays relating to a natural disaster if the law providing the funds explicitly exempts the funds from the requirement and is agreed to by a majority of each chamber of Congress.

The resolution requires the President to annually submit to Congress a budget in which total outlays do not exceed total receipts.

The balanced budget requirement does not apply if:

  • a declaration of war is in effect or if the United States is engaged in military conflict which causes an imminent and serious military threat to national security; or
  • during the fiscal year or preceding fiscal year, the U.S. economy grew by less than 0% in real gross domestic product during two or more consecutive quarters or the unemployment rate was more than 7% during two or more consecutive months.

The resolution prohibits a court from enforcing the requirements by ordering cuts to Social Security or Medicare payments unless the funds available to the trust fund for a program are not sufficient to cover the outlays that would occur during the year if the fund were fully solvent.