I do not have that much confidence in the people we have selected to run this country. We put Barack Obama and the Democrats in charge, and we are going to fix the problem with the first Constitutional Convention in over 200 years? The more I think about it, the more chills go up my spine. Yet that is what our governor wants.
What follows is an email from the governor’s office.
Commonwealth of Virginia
Office of Governor Bob McDonnell
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
February 10, 2011
Contact: Jeff Caldwell
Phone: (804) 225-4260
Governor McDonnell Sends Down Resolution Calling for Constitutional Convention on Federal Balanced Budget Amendment
RICHMOND – Governor Bob McDonnell today sent down a resolution for consideration by the General Assembly that calls on the United States Congress to pass a balanced budget amendment to the U.S. Constitution, and requesting a constitutional convention for adoption of a balanced budget amendment. The resolution is being carried by Delegate Ben Cline (R-Lexington). The full text of the resolution can be found below.
Speaking about the resolution, Governor McDonnell remarked, “Over the last two years, the federal government has added approximately $3.37 trillion to the national debt, making the total national debt an unsustainable $14 trillion. It is critical that Washington gets its fiscal house in order and reduces spending to ensure the future prosperity and security of our great nation. The irresponsible rate of spending in Washington will place an undue burden on our children and grandchildren who will pay the price for the reckless actions being taken at the federal level. At the state level, we balance our budgets and it is time for Washington to do the same. Here in Virginia we cut $6 billion out of our last two budgets and reduced spending to 2006 levels, ending the fiscal year with a $403 million surplus. It’s time for Washington to follow the lead of the states and operate within a balanced budget, every year. Our call for a balanced budget amendment is a commonsense measure to keep the federal government in check and rein in out of control spending in Washington.”
Delegate Cline added, “The growing federal deficit is one of the greatest challenges that faces our country. Families must make tough decisions every day to balance their checkbooks, and states like Virginia have balanced budgets every year—the federal government should be no different. The resolution I am introducing today requesting a constitutional convention on a balanced budget amendment is a step in the right direction toward reining in federal government spending and tackling the federal debt. A balanced budget amendment in the U.S. Constitution will set us on a path toward fiscal responsibility in Washington.”
HOUSE JOINT RESOLUTION NO. __
WHEREAS, this nation has become deeply in debt as its expenditures have exceeded available revenues so that the total federal public debt now exceeds $14 trillion and continues to increase; and
WHEREAS, the federal budget fails to reflect actual spending because of the exclusion of special outlays that are neither included in the budget nor subject to the legal public debt limit; and
WHEREAS, knowledgeable planning requires that the budget reflect all federal spending and that the budget be in balance; and
WHEREAS, attempts to curtail federal spending, confine expenditures to available revenues, and reduce the annual deficit have met with only limited success; and
WHEREAS, the requirement to balance the budget will promote responsibility at the federal level, provide checks against unnecessary and costly appropriations, and reinforce efforts to bring about fiscal integrity; and
WHEREAS, the Constitution of the Commonwealth provides for a balanced budget, and this provision has reinforced the inherent fiscal common sense of spending only funds available and has contributed to the Commonwealth’s outstanding reputation for sound fiscal management and policy; and
WHEREAS, efforts in Congress to amend the Constitution of the United States to add a balanced budget requirement have not been successful; and
WHEREAS, in the event of congressional inaction, Article V of the Constitution of the United States grants to the states the right to initiate constitutional change through application by the legislatures of two-thirds of the several states to the Congress, calling for a constitutional convention; and
WHEREAS, the Congress is required by Article V to call such a convention upon receipt of such applications; now, therefore, be it
RESOLVED by the House of Delegates, the Senate concurring, That the Congress of the United States be urged to adopt legislation requiring a balanced federal budget; and, be it
RESOLVED FURTHER, That pursuant to Article V of the Constitution of the United States, the General Assembly of Virginia does hereby make application to the Congress of the United States to call a convention for the sole and exclusive purpose of proposing to the several states a constitutional amendment to add an article to provide for a balanced budget requirement. The proposed article should contain substantially the following provisions:
“Section 1. Total outlays for any fiscal year shall not exceed total receipts for that fiscal year, unless three-fifths of the whole number of each House of Congress shall provide by law for a specific excess of outlays over receipts by a roll call vote.
Section 2. The limit on the debt of the United States held by the public shall not be increased, unless three-fifths of the whole number of each House shall provide by law for such an increase by a roll call vote.
Section 3. Prior to each fiscal year, the President shall transmit to the Congress a proposed budget for the United States Government for that fiscal year in which total outlays do not exceed total receipts.
Section 4. No bill to increase revenue shall become law unless approved by a majority of the whole number of each House by a roll call vote.
Section 5. The Congress may waive the provisions of this article for any fiscal year in which a declaration of war is in effect. The provisions of this article may be waived for any fiscal year in which the United States is engaged in military conflict that causes an imminent and serious military threat to national security and is so declared by a joint resolution, adopted by a majority of the whole number of each House, which becomes law.
Section 6. The Congress shall enforce and implement this article by appropriate legislation, which may rely on estimates of outlays and receipts.
Section 7. Total receipts shall include all receipts of the United States Government except those derived from borrowing. Total outlays shall include all outlays of the United States Government except for those for repayment of debt principal.
Section 8. This article shall take effect beginning with the later of the second fiscal year beginning after its ratification or the first fiscal year beginning after December 31, 2013.”; and, be it
RESOLVED FURTHER, That unless rescinded by the General Assembly of Virginia, this application shall constitute a continuing application for such convention pursuant to Article V of the Constitution of the United States until the legislatures of two-thirds of the states shall have made like applications and such convention shall have been called by the Congress of the United States; and, be it
RESOLVED FURTHER, That since this method of proposing an amendment has never been completed to the point of calling a convention and since the exercise of the power is a matter of basic sovereign rights and the interpretation thereof is primarily in the sovereign government making such exercise and since the power to use such right in full also carries the power to use such right in part, the General Assembly interprets Article V to mean that if two-thirds of the states make application for a convention to propose a substantially similar amendment to the Constitution for ratification with a limitation that such amendment be the only matter before it, that such convention would have power to propose only the specified amendment and would be limited to such proposal and would not have power to propose other amendments on different propositions; and, be it
RESOLVED FINALLY, That the Clerk of the House of Delegates transmit copies of this resolution to the President of the United States, the Speaker of the United States House of Representatives, the President of the United States Senate, the members of the Virginia Congressional Delegation, and the legislatures of each of the several states, attesting the adoption of this resolution by the General Assembly of Virginia.
*A number will be assigned to the resolution once it is introduced in the House of Delegates