Congress and the President shall ensure that actual outlays do not exceed the outlays set forth in such statement. No bill to increase tax revenue shall become law unless approved by a three-fifths majority of the whole number of each House of Congress. Prior to each fiscal year, the President shall transmit to Congress a proposed statement of receipts and outlays for such fiscal year consistent with the provisions of this Article. Congress may waive the provisions of this Article for any fiscal year in which a declaration of war is in effect. Congress will be able to waive the Amendment's requirements based on a declaration of war; an alternative waiver mechanism requires a joint resolution (that is supported by a majority of the total membership in each House and becomes law) declaring ``an imminent and serious military threat to national security,'' [section 4]. The provisions of this Article may be waived for any fiscal year in which the United States faces an imminent and serious military threat to national security and is so declared by a joint resolution, adopted by a majority of the whole number of each House, which becomes law. Total receipts shall include all receipts of the United States except those derived from borrowing and total outlays shall include all outlays of the United States except those for the repayment of debt principal. The amount of the debt of the United States held by the public as of the date this Article takes effect shall become a permanent limit on such debt and there shall be no increase in such amount unless three-fifths of the whole number of each House of Congress shall have passed a bill approving such increase and such bill has become law. All votes taken by the House of Representatives or the Senate under this Article shall be rollcall votes. Congress shall enforce and implement this Article by appropriate legislation. This Article shall take effect for the fiscal year 2002 or for the second fiscal year beginning after its ratification, whichever is later.''. The constitutional amendment takes effect ``for the fiscal year 2002 or for the second fiscal year beginning after its ratification, whichever is later,'' [section 9]. The federal deficit for fiscal year 1995 is projected at 6 billion. In fiscal year 1996, the deficit is expected to increase to 7 billion. By the year 2000, the current estimates are that the interest on the debt will reach 0 billion.
Deficit targets in the Balanced Budget and Emergency Deficit Control Act of 1985 (Gramm-Rudman-Hollings Act) have been relaxed periodically, and new budget control mechanisms have not offered a realistic long term prospect of continued deficit reduction.
In view of these statistics, the need for constitutional constraints is greater than ever.