A Constitutional Amendment Requiring State Approval for Increases in Federal Debt

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Continued from “States Pursue New Tactic to Restrain Federal Debt.” The Pelican Post has reproduced this model legislation with permission from the American Legislative Exchange Council.

Whereas, Article V of the Constitution of the United States provides authority for a  Convention to be called by the Congress of the United States for the purpose of proposing amendments to the Constitution upon application of two-thirds of the Legislatures of the several states (“amendments convention”), and,

Whereas, the Legislature of the State of {insert state} favors the proposal and ratification of an amendment to said Constitution which shall provide that an increase in the federal debt requires approval from a majority of the legislatures of the separate States.

Therefore, be it resolved:

Section 1.

(A) That, as provided for in Article V of the Constitution of the United States, the Legislature of the State of {insert state} herewith respectfully applies for an amendments convention to be called for the purpose of proposing an amendment which shall provide that an increase in the federal debt requires approval from a majority of the legislatures of the separate States.

Section 2.

(A) That the amendments convention contemplated by this application shall be entirely focused upon and exclusively limited to the subject matter of proposing for ratification an amendment to the Constitution providing that an increase in the federal debt requires approval from a majority of the legislatures of the separate States.

Section 3.

(A) This application 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 an equivalently limited amendments convention.

Section 4.

(A) Be it further resolved that a certified copy of this application be dispatched by the secretary of state (or other responsible constitutional officer), to the President of the United States Senate, to the Speaker of the United States House of Representatives, to each member of the applicant’s delegation to the United States Congress, and to the presiding officers of each house of the several state legislatures, requesting their cooperation in applying for the amendments convention limited to the subject matter contemplated by this application.

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

Approved by the ALEC Board of Directors, January 5, 2011

Please contact Jonathan Williams, Tax and Fiscal Policy Task Force Director, at 202-742-8355 or jwilliams@alec.org if you have any questions concerning this model legislation. Thank you for your consideration.