Montana U.S. Representative Steve Daines spoke to constituents on Monday evening during his weekly conference call.

One listener bemoaned the rapidly increasing national debt, prompting Daines to mention a bill he presented when he first arrived in Washington, D.C. that would have required Congress to pass a balanced budget.

"When I first got back here, one of the first bills I introduced was House Resolution 522, and that name of that bill was the balanced Budget Accountability Act," Daines said. "It said simply this, if Congress can't pass a budget, they shouldn't get paid."

Daines said every day Congress refuses to balance the federal budget, the country slides deeper into debt.

"We're going to run another deficit of over $600 billion this year, which is going to take our debt up over $17 trillion," Daines said. "So, it's a tremendous challenge we face back here, and I think a balanced budget amendment to the constitution would be a long-term reform that would help."

Daines is giving up his seat in the House in a run to replace Max Baucus in the U.S. Senate. Baucus is expected to be named the U.S. Ambassador to China sometime next week.

Congressman Steve Daines


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