Rep. Howard Nielson, R-Utah, says 1989 may be the year for congressional passage of the balanced budget constitutional amendment, with more than 200 co-sponsors signed on the bill.

"This time there are great expectations to move the measure onto the floor where a vote can be taken," said Nielson. "This is one of the most important measures we will face in Congress this year."The amendment, if passed, would require Congress and the administration to estimate annual revenues beginning no sooner than the 1993 fiscal year. Then, total federal spending proposals could not exceed those estimates without a favorable vote by 60 percent of the House and Senate members.

In addition to placing a lid on the federal budget deficit, the amendment also would require a majority roll-call vote in both chambers on any bill to increase federal revenues.

"With 242 cosponsors on board and growing interest by the public, there is every reason to believe we will be able to force a vote on the floor," said Nielson.

"We must pass this bill and give the states a chance to ratify it," he said. "We need this amendment so political opportunists will no longer be able to pass the smoke-and-mirrors kind of budgets we saw last year and again are seeing this year."