Clinton tried to claim credit on behalf of the Democrats concerning jobs and touted his own record -- that wasn't possible without a Republican controlled-congress which passed welfare reform and balanced the budget in spite of him, not because of him.<quoted text>
Wheeeee! Now President Obama gets to balance the federal budget, JUST LIKE President Clinton did -- no thanks to the Republicans.
(But we will be sure to blame them for this mess. Which is nothing more than right, since they got us in this mess to begin with.)
President Bill Clinton did not support a constitutional amendment, but in his 1992 campaign he called for balancing the budget through ordinary fiscal policy.
Clinton signed into law the Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act of 1993, which attacked the deficit by raising taxes. Beginning with the 1998 budget year, during his second term, the country ran a yearly budget surplus through 2001.
In 1994, many Americans viewed reducing the deficit as one of the most important public policy objectives. To that end, in that year's Congressional election, Republicans campaigned against Clinton's tax increase and took control of both the Senate and the House. The Republican led Congress immediately engaged in a battle with President Clinton, because the President refused to sign the balanced budgets the Congress sent him. Finally, in 1995 the Republican Congress stood firm, and refused to send Clinton any budget that was not balanced.
Clinton fought this for as long as he could, and vetoed the budget which resulted in a brief shutdown of the Federal government. After negotiations with both sides giving in on some changes, they could not agree on the pace of spending cuts. The Republicans eventually cut a deal with Clinton that was not much different than what they could have gotten before the shutdown.
One provision of their "Contract with America" campaign document called for a balanced-budget amendment. In 1995, such an amendment passed the House of Representatives and came within one vote of passing the Senate.
Perot's less effective 1996 presidential bid was in part evidence of the declining significance of the deficit, and hence the Balanced Budget Amendment, as an issue.
In his final State of the Union, Clinton said the United States should continue to balance its books and pay off the debt entirely.
Bottom Line: Democrat Bill Clinton was president the last time the federal budget was balanced, and Republicans controlled Congress.