As mentioned here a balanced budget used to have a decent amount of support among the American people. What is the view of Joe Biden on having a balanced budget?

  • I would think that adding a reference to his "Build Back Better" plan costing zero dollars could also align with this question.
    – Rick Smith
    Commented Oct 2, 2021 at 17:52

1 Answer 1


Someone may be able to paint a fuller history here, but interestingly, in 1995 when such a proposal almost passed (close to the 2/3 votes required) Biden had switched his vote in favor, compared to a year before, as LA Times reported back then:

Sens. Joseph R. Biden Jr. of Delaware and Tom Harkin of Iowa, both of whom voted against a similar proposal last year, said they will support the plan when it comes to a vote in the Senate on Tuesday, guaranteeing backers of the amendment at least 64 and perhaps as many as 66 of the 67 votes required for approval. [...]

Biden revealed his decision in a written statement.

“I have concluded that there is nothing left to try except the balanced-budget amendment,” Biden said after reviewing earlier attempts to end the government’s chronic deficit-spending.

Biden even wrote an op-ed in the NYT on that occasion...

As he wrote in a 1995 New York Times op-ed explaining his position, “trying to spend our way out of recessions is no longer an option.”

Biden went on to write that the amendment "will force the Government to do what it has been unable to do: to spend only the money it takes in, unless extraordinary circumstances force us to find the resources to spend more. I will [vote for the amendment] in the belief that respect for the Constitution will result in a new tradition of fiscal responsibility.”

Biden did propose however an amendment (to the would-be constitutional amendment) that would have excepted some investments:

During the markup, the Republican majority rejected a handful of Democratic amendments, including: [...]

A plan by Joseph R. Biden Jr., D-Del., to allow the government to run deficits to finance major infrastructure projects. Biden argued that this was the practice of most states that operated under balanced-budget strictures. It was tabled by a 12-5 vote.

Also in the same vein:

Republicans [Feb. 15] easily killed, 59-38, an amendment by Biden to establish a capital budget that would allow the government to run deficits to finance major infrastructure improvements such as highway projects. (Vote 72, p. S-14)


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