HJ565: U.S. Constitution; application to Congress of United States to call an amendment convention.


HOUSE JOINT RESOLUTION NO. 565
AMENDMENT IN THE NATURE OF A SUBSTITUTE
(Proposed by the House Committee on Rules
on January 31, 2013)
(Patron Prior to Substitute--Delegate LeMunyon)
Applying to the Congress of the United States to call an amendment convention pursuant to Article V of the United States Constitution for the sole purpose of proposing a constitutional amendment that requires a balanced federal budget.

WHEREAS, this nation has become deeply in debt as its expenditures have exceeded available revenues so that the total federal public debt now exceeds $16 trillion and continues to increase, and is of such great proportion that responsibility for its payment, with interest, will be passed to future, unborn generations of Americans to assume without their consent; and

WHEREAS, attempts to curtail federal spending, confine expenditures to available revenues, and reduce the annual deficit have not been successful; and

WHEREAS, in recent years Congress has mandated the implementation of government programs by the states without providing funding for all such programs, and could continue to encroach on state budgets as a means of balancing the federal budget; and

WHEREAS, the Constitution of the Commonwealth provides for a balanced budget, and this provision has reinforced the inherent fiscal common sense of spending only funds available and has contributed to the Commonwealth's outstanding reputation for sound fiscal management and policy; and

WHEREAS, efforts in Congress to amend the Constitution of the United States to add a balanced budget requirement have not been successful; and

WHEREAS, Article V of the Constitution of the United States grants to the states the right to initiate a process of amending the constitution through application by the legislatures of two-thirds of the several states to the Congress, calling for an amendment convention; and

WHEREAS, in Federalist No. 85, Alexander Hamilton wrote in reference to Article V of the Constitution and the calling of a convention for the purpose of proposing amendments that "We may safely rely on the disposition of the State legislatures to erect barriers against the encroachments of the national authority"; and

WHEREAS, the Congress is required by Article V to call such a convention upon receipt of such applications from two-thirds of the states; now, therefore, be it

RESOLVED by the House of Delegates, the Senate concurring, That the Commonwealth of Virginia hereby apply to the Congress of the United States to call an amendment convention pursuant to Article V of the United States Constitution for the sole purpose of proposing an amendment to the United States Constitution to require a balanced federal budget and any terms or conditions necessary for implementation of the amendment; and, be it

RESOLVED FURTHER, That the other states be encouraged to make similar applications for an amendment convention pursuant to Article V of the Constitution of the United States; and, be it

RESOLVED FURTHER, That this application shall constitute a continuing application for such amendment convention pursuant to Article V of the Constitution of the United States until the legislatures of two-thirds of the states shall have made such applications and such convention shall have been called by the Congress of the United States; and, be it

RESOLVED FINALLY, That the Clerk of the House of Delegates transmit copies of this resolution to the President of the United States, the Speaker and the Clerk of the United States House of Representatives, the President and the Clerk of the United States Senate, the members of the Virginia Congressional Delegation, and the legislatures of each of the several states, attesting the adoption of this resolution by the General Assembly of Virginia.

HOUSE JOINT RESOLUTION NO. 565

Offered January 9, 2013
Prefiled December 10, 2012
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Patrons-- LeMunyon, Albo, Anderson, Crockett-Stark, Fariss, Head, Howell, W.J., Hugo, Johnson, Marshall, D.W., Massie, Morris, Peace, Ramadan, Robinson and Stolle
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Committee Referral Pending
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WHEREAS, this nation has become deeply in debt as its expenditures have exceeded available revenues so that the total federal public debt now exceeds $16 trillion and continues to increase, and is of such great proportion that responsibility for its payment, with interest, will be passed to future, unborn generations of Americans to assume without their consent; and

WHEREAS, attempts to curtail federal spending, confine expenditures to available revenues, and reduce the annual deficit have not been successful; and

WHEREAS, in recent years Congress has mandated the implementation of government programs by the states without providing funding for all such programs, and could continue to encroach on state budgets as a means of balancing the federal budget; and

WHEREAS, the Constitution of the Commonwealth provides for a balanced budget, and this provision has reinforced the inherent fiscal common sense of spending only funds available and has contributed to the Commonwealth's outstanding reputation for sound fiscal management and policy; and

WHEREAS, efforts in Congress to amend the Constitution of the United States to add a balanced budget requirement have not been successful; and

WHEREAS, Article V of the Constitution of the United States grants to the states the right to initiate a process of amending the constitution through application by the legislatures of two-thirds of the several states to the Congress, calling for an amendment convention; and

WHEREAS, in Federalist No. 85, Alexander Hamilton wrote in reference to Article V of the Constitution and the calling of a convention for the purpose of proposing amendments that "We may safely rely on the disposition of the State legislatures to erect barriers against the encroachments of the national authority"; and

WHEREAS, the Congress is required by Article V to call such a convention upon receipt of such applications from two-thirds of the states; now, therefore, be it

RESOLVED by the House of Delegates, the Senate concurring, That the Commonwealth of Virginia hereby apply to the Congress of the United States to call an amendment convention pursuant to Article V of the United States Constitution for the purpose of proposing an amendment to the United States Constitution to require a balanced federal budget and any terms or conditions necessary for implementation of the amendment; and, be it

RESOLVED FURTHER, That the other states be encouraged to make similar applications for an amendment convention pursuant to Article V of the Constitution of the United States; and, be it

RESOLVED FURTHER, That this application shall constitute a continuing application for such amendment convention pursuant to Article V of the Constitution of the United States until the legislatures of two-thirds of the states shall have made such applications and such convention shall have been called by the Congress of the United States; and, be it

RESOLVED FINALLY, That the Clerk of the House of Delegates transmit copies of this resolution to the President of the United States, the Speaker and the Clerk of the United States House of Representatives, the President and the Clerk of the United States Senate, the members of the Virginia Congressional Delegation, and the legislatures of each of the several states, attesting the adoption of this resolution by the General Assembly of Virginia.