Resolution Calling for a Federal Balanced Budget Amendment

Summary

It took the United States 205 years to fall $1 trillion in debt. By the end of 1992, the national debt was over $4 trillion. Each baby born in the United States today enters the world owing more than $58,000 on the federal debt. Our country is approximately $18.8 trillion in debt. The debt is now over 100 percent of the total country's production, or GDP, which means that we will owe more than we can produce. If both the debt and our continual budget deficits continue at this rate of growth, interest payments on the debt will continue to dissolve the federal budget. This resolution calls on the U.S. Congress to adopt a constitutional amendment requiring an annual balanced federal budget or as an alternative, calls for a convention for proposing amendments as provided by Article V of the U.S. Constitution to propose a Constitutional Amendment requiring an annual balanced federal budget.

Resolution Calling for a Federal Balanced Budget Amendment

{Title, enacting clause, etc.}

A RESOLUTION, for the purpose of petitioning the Congress of the United States to adopt an amendment to the Constitution of the United States, for submission to the states, to require, with certain exceptions, that the federal budget be balanced; or, in the alternative, to call a convention for the sole and exclusive purpose of proposing a Federal balanced budget amendment for submission to the states for ratification.

WHEREAS, with each passing year this nation becomes deeply in debt as its expenditures grossly, and repeatedly, exceed available revenues so that the public debt now exceeds $18 trillion; and

WHEREAS, attempts to limit spending, including the impoundment of funds by the President of the United States, have resulted in strenuous assertions that the responsibility for appropriations is the constitutional duty of the Congress; and

WHEREAS, the annual federal budget repeatedly demonstrates the unwillingness or inability of both the legislative and executive branches of the federal government to curtail spending to conform to available revenues; and

WHEREAS, the unified budget does not reflect actual spending because of the exclusion of special outlays which are not in the budget; and

WHEREAS, knowledgeable planning and fiscal prudence require that the budget reflect all federal spending and that the budget be in balance; and

WHEREAS, believing that fiscal irresponsibility at the federal level is one of the greatest economic threats which faces our nation, we firmly believe that constitutional restraint is necessary to bring the fiscal discipline needed to reverse this trend; and

WHEREAS, the mounting debt level is putting our country not only at economic security risk, but it is opening our country up to a national security risk as our debt level restricts our capacity to act and shows weakness to our enemies; and

WHEREAS, under Article V of the Constitution of the United States, amendments to the U.S. Constitution may be proposed by the Congress whenever two-thirds of both Houses deem it necessary, or on the application of the legislatures of two-thirds of the several states the Congress shall call a convention for the purpose of proposing amendments;

NOW THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, by the legislature of the state, a majority of all members of the two houses, voting separately, concurring herein, that the Congress of the United States of America is hereby petitioned to adopt an amendment to the Constitution of the United States, for submission to the states for ratification, requiring, with certain exceptions, that for each fiscal year the president of the United States submit and the Congress of the United States adopt a balanced federal budget; or, in the alternative,

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, effective {insert date} that pursuant to Article V of the Constitution of the United States, the legislature of the state makes application to the Congress of the United States of America to call a convention for the specific and exclusive purpose of proposing an amendment to the Constitution of the United States, for submission to the states for ratification, requiring, with certain exceptions, that for each fiscal year the president of the United States submit and the Congress of the United States adopt a balanced federal budget.

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that if Congress adopts, within 90 days after the legislatures of two-thirds of the states have made application for such convention, an amendment to the Constitution of the United States similar in subject matter to that contained in this resolution, then this application for a convention shall no longer be of any force or effect.

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that this application and request be deemed null and void, rescinded, and of no effect in the event that such convention not be limited to the aforementioned specific and exclusive purpose of a Federal Balanced Budget Amendment.

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that this application shall be deemed null and void, rescinded, and of no effect in the event the U.S. Supreme Court rules that a convention cannot be limited to the subject stated in 34 such applications.

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that this application by this legislature constitutes a continuing application in accordance with Article V of the Constitution of the United States until at least two-thirds of the Legislatures of the several states have made application for a similar convention pursuant to Article V or Congress has proposed an amendment to the Constitution of the United States similar in subject matter to that contained in this Joint Resolution.

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that certified copies of this Joint Resolution be transmitted by the Secretary of State to the President of the United States Senate, to the Speaker of the United States House of Representatives, to each member of this state’s delegation to the Congress and to the presiding officer of each house of each state legislature in the United States.

The ALEC Sourcebook of American State Legislation 1995

Amended by the Task Force on Tax and Fiscal Policy at the States and Nation Policy Summit, December 3, 2010

Amendments approved by the ALEC Board of Directors, January 5, 2011

Amended by the Task Force on Tax and Fiscal Policy at the States and Nation Policy Summit December 3, 2015

Amendments approved by the ALEC Board of Directors, January 16, 2016