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October 2016 Policy Study, Number 16-3


How To Restore Federal Fiscal Sanity: The State Legislatures Hold The Key


Is It essential That A State Resolution For A Balanced Budget Amendment Also Include The Call For A Limited Constitutional Convention?



Yes.  A State Legislature’s resolution has no effect on Congress unless it includes both parts: (1) a request for Congress to propose a Balanced Budget Constitutional Amendment, and (2) a call for a limited constitutional convention to propose only that one amendment, if Congress fails to act.


The convention call is essential to compel Congress to propose a BBA.  Until 34 State Legislatures call for a limited convention to propose this amendment, Congress can continue to ignore people’s demand for it. 

If the convention call is removed from a legislative resolution for a BBA, the resolution becomes toothless and worthless.


A mere request that Congress propose a Balanced Budget Amendment is a sentimental wish that Congress will ignore.


The convention call is what will get the attention of Congress and finally compel Congress to propose the BBA rather than letting a convention write it.




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