Gov. Deal Signs Balanced Budget Compact, Co-Sponsored by Rep. Welch
ATLANTA—State Representative Andy Welch (R–McDonough) commented today on Governor Nathan Deal signing House Bill 794, otherwise known as the Compact for a Balanced Budget. Co-sponsored by Rep. Welch, HB 794 calls for an Article V constitutional convention with the intent of amending the United States Constitution to include a balanced budget requirement for Congress.
“I want to thank lead sponsor, Rep. Paulette Braddock, our colleagues in the House and Senate for supporting the Compact, and I want to thank the Governor for signing the legislation so that Georgia becomes the leader in the push for a Balanced Federal Budget,” said Rep. Welch. “The Compact for a Balanced Budget contains a constitutional amendment that will bring an end to Congressional fiscal irresponsibility and cap the Federal debt. With nearly 17.6 trillion dollars in debt, 107% of our Gross Domestic Product, this measure is needed to stop Washington from continuing to borrow against the future financial liberty of our children and grandchildren.”
HB 794 proposes to enter the state of Georgia into a compact with other states as part of an effort to require the federal government to balance its budget. This compact will bind all participating states to an agreed upon convention agenda, which intends to prevent a “run-away convention.” HB 794 also creates a Compact Commission that will lobby other states to join the compact.
“The compact approach is, by far, the most transparent and secure approach to achieving a state-initiated amendment. It provides the greatest protection against a run-away convention or a time and resource wasting ‘Do-Nothing’ constitutional convention,” added Rep. Welch.
The Compact’s approach and amendment language is the product of thoughtful drafting and extensive constitutional research spearheaded by Nick Dranias at the Goldwater Institute. The Goldwater Institute is a non-profit organization whose mission is to protect freedom and prosperity. Rep. Welch worked closely with Dranias to tailor fit the language of the Compact for Georgia.
“The amendment language in the Compact is exceptionally well-drafted,” said Rep. Welch. “If ratified by other states, the amendment would force Congress to balance its budget, establish a national debt limit, force the president to prioritize spending if spending comes within 98 percent of the debt limit, and require a two-thirds vote in Congress to raise any existing taxes. The higher threshold for tax increases would ensure that the budget is balanced in a more preferable manner: such as through spending cuts, elimination of tax exemptions, or a shift to consumption-based taxes like the “Fair Tax” model.”
Article V of the U.S. Constitution provides states with the right to make amendments to the U.S. Constitution by means of a constitutional convention. In order for a constitutional convention to be called, at least two-thirds, or 34 states, must petition on the same subject. Twenty states have already filed petitions on the subject of a balanced budget amendment. The Compact for a Balanced Budget has been passed by the Alaska House of Representatives and awaits Governor Parnell’s signature. It is expected to be taken up by several other state legislatures this year.
Governor Deal signed HB 794 on April 12, 2014.
For more information about HB 794, please click here.
Representative Andrew Welch represents the citizens of District 110, which includes portions of Butts, Henry, and Newton Counties. He was elected into the House of Representatives in 2010, and currently serves as the Vice Chairman on the Code Revisions Committee and the Appropriations Subcommittee on Economic Development. He also serves on the Judiciary, Juvenile Justice, and Regulated Industries committees.