This year Senate and House legislators have passed three bills that use different approaches but share a common goal, that states should be able to compel the federal government to operate within a balanced budget. The Compact for America approach passed as House Bill 794 would bring participating states together at a convention to pass a balanced budget constitutional amendment.
Action by the convention would not by itself compel the federal government to live within a balanced budget. Congress would be required to act on the proposed amendment and states would be required to ratify the language. Goldwater Institute constitutional scholar Nick Dranias explained the balanced budget constitutional amendment approach at the Georgia Public Policy Foundation’s February 26 Leadership Breakfast at the Cobb Galleria.