LANSING—The Michigan Legislature on Wednesday approved a joint resolution, co-sponsored by Senate Majority Floor Leader Arlan Meekhof, to officially petition Congress to call a constitutional convention for a federal balanced budget amendment.
“The debt burden America is leaving our grandchildren is shameful,” said Meekhof, R-Olive Township. “The national debt is currently $17.5 trillion, which is more than $55,000 per person. Yet, even though our staggering debt is more than our entire gross national product and expanding faster than the economy, leaders in Washington refuse to stop abusing the nation’s credit. A balanced budget amendment will force them to live within our means.”
Senate Joint Resolution V officially petitions Congress to take the necessary steps toward passing a balanced budget amendment to the U.S. Constitution. The amendment would require an annual federal budget in which spending does not exceed existing revenues.
“Unlike the inaction in Washington D.C., leaders in Michigan made the tough choices and improved government efficiency to finally structurally balance the state’s budget – taking the state from a $1.5 billion deficit in 2011 to annual surpluses,” Meekhof said. “As a result of addressing our budget challenge, Michigan now has an economy that is creating jobs and a budget that enables us to invest more in key priorities, such as roads and education.”
Twenty-two states have already approved the resolution. Once adopted by 12 more states, it becomes binding on Congress. Any balanced budget amendment proposed by the convention would still have to be ratified by three-fourths of the states before taking effect.
“Every year, Michigan families, job providers and local governments balance their budgets and it’s time for the federal government to do the same,” said Meekhof. “Borrowing from China is not a plan; it’s a gimmick that is leaving an enormous burden for future generations. A balanced budget amendment will force Congress to cut up the national credit card; prioritize how it spends taxpayer dollars; and look at ways to reduce the size, scope and cost of the federal government.”