March 26, 1986

The failure of Congress to respond to the manifest desire of the American people for a balanced budget amendment to the Constitution leaves the matter in the hands of the States. It remains the President's hope that Congress will act responsibly to pass a balanced budget amendment, avoiding the need for a constitutional convention. If Congress does not act soon, the States will have no choice.

The President urges Congress to set aside its free-spending habits and to promptly act to propose a balanced budget amendment before the supporters of such an amendment have no other course than to pursue petitioning the remaining State legislatures.

Note: Larry M. Speakes read the statement to reporters at 12:35 p.m. in the Briefing Room at the White House.