Florida Senate - 2011 SCR 4 By Senator Haridopolos 26-03888A-11 20114__ 1 Senate Concurrent Resolution 2 A concurrent resolution urging Congress to call a 3 convention for the purpose of proposing amendments to 4 the Constitution of the United States to achieve and 5 maintain a balanced federal budget. 6 7 WHEREAS, fiscal discipline and economic integrity have been 8 core principles of American governance, and 9 WHEREAS, the American people have historically demanded the 10 same prudent, responsible, and intellectually honest financial 11 behavior from their elected representatives as ultimately 12 compels individual behavior, and 13 WHEREAS, it is the firm conviction of the Legislature of 14 the State of Florida that it is wrong to fund the prosperity of 15 the present generation by robbing future Americans of their own, 16 and 17 WHEREAS, mortgaging the birthright of our children and 18 grandchildren is a dangerous departure from traditional American 19 values which threatens to permanently undermine the strength of 20 our nation, and 21 WHEREAS, in the 7 months between June 1, 2010, and December 22 31, 2010, the national debt grew $1 trillion, and as of April 1, 23 2011, the total public debt outstanding for the United States 24 was $14,251,174,516,308, and 25 WHEREAS, Congress has voted to raise the debt limit 10 26 times since 2001, and the United States Secretary of the 27 Treasury has called on the Congress to immediately consider 28 voting to raise it again, and 29 WHEREAS, our debt is owed increasingly to the governments 30 of foreign nations, not to the citizens of the United States; 31 therefore, our wealth is transferred to others and will not be 32 available to supply the means for America’s future growth and 33 prosperity, and 34 WHEREAS, this generation will bequeath to its children one 35 of the world’s most indebted industrial democracies, and 36 WHEREAS, high federal deficits cause increasingly high 37 payments for debt interest in the future, make future borrowing 38 more costly, reduce investment activity, and thus reduce the 39 size of the future economy, and 40 WHEREAS, the people of Florida recognized the wisdom of 41 fiscal discipline and enshrined in its State Constitution the 42 requirement for a balanced budget to place a prudent limit on 43 the tendencies of government, and 44 WHEREAS, the Florida Legislature has made fiscally 45 responsible decisions, maintaining a balanced budget and saving 46 the citizens of this State from crippling deficits, massive debt 47 burdens, and bankruptcy, and 48 WHEREAS, we the Legislature of the State of Florida call 49 for the Constitution of the United States to be amended to 50 require the Federal Government to operate with fiscal 51 responsibility, common sense, and within the revenues granted to 52 it by the people, and 53 WHEREAS, the Federal Government has for too long relied on 54 revenue increases and borrowing against our future, rather than 55 on prudent spending decisions within the limits of current 56 revenues, and 57 WHEREAS, lasting resolution of this nation’s budget deficit 58 will be achieved only by addressing the spending habits of our 59 Federal Government, not by increasing the tax burden under which 60 our citizens already labor, and 61 WHEREAS, Article V of the Constitution of the United States 62 makes provision for amending the Constitution on the application 63 of the legislatures of two-thirds of the several states, calling 64 a convention for proposing amendments that shall be valid to all 65 intents and purposes if ratified by the legislatures of three 66 fourths of the several states, or by conventions in three 67 fourths thereof, as the one or the other mode of ratification 68 may be proposed by Congress, NOW, THEREFORE, 69 70 Be It Resolved by the Senate of the State of Florida, the House 71 of Representatives Concurring: 72 73 That the Legislature of the State of Florida, with all due 74 respect and great reluctance, does hereby make application to 75 the Congress of the United States pursuant to Article V of the 76 Constitution of the United States to call a convention for the 77 sole purpose of proposing an amendment to the Constitution of 78 the United States to achieve and maintain a balanced budget by, 79 among other things: 80 (1) Requiring that total outlays not exceed total receipts 81 for any fiscal year; 82 (2) Requiring the setting of a fiscal year total outlay 83 limit; 84 (3) Prohibiting increases in taxes or other revenue 85 sources; 86 (4) Providing that, for reasons other than war or military 87 conflict, the limits of this amendment may be waived by law for 88 any fiscal year if approved by at least two-thirds of both 89 houses of Congress; 90 (5) Allowing for provisions of the amendment to take effect 91 within specified time periods; 92 (6) Providing for the waiver of the provisions of the 93 amendment for any fiscal year in which a declaration of war is 94 in effect or the United States is engaged in military conflict 95 that causes an imminent and serious military threat to national 96 security; and 97 (7) Allowing for congressional enforcement. 98 BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that this concurrent resolution 99 supersedes all previous memorials and concurrent resolutions 100 applying to the Congress of the United States to call a 101 convention for the purpose of proposing a balanced budget 102 amendment to the Constitution of the United States, including 103 Senate Memorial 234 and House Memorial 2801, both passed in 104 1976, and were superseded, revoked, and withdrawn in 1988 by 105 Senate Memorial 302, and Senate Concurrent Resolution 10, passed 106 in 2010, and that such previous memorials and resolutions are 107 hereby revoked and withdrawn, nullified, and superseded to the 108 same effect as if they had never been passed. 109 BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that this concurrent resolution is 110 revoked and withdrawn, nullified, and superseded to the same 111 effect as if it had never been passed, and retroactive to the 112 date of passage, if it is used for the purpose of calling a 113 convention or used in support of conducting a convention to 114 amend the Constitution of the United States for any purpose 115 other than requiring a balanced federal budget. 116 BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that a copy of this concurrent 117 resolution be dispatched to the President of the United States 118 Senate, to the Speaker of the United States House of 119 Representatives, to each member of the Florida delegation to the 120 United States Congress, and to the presiding officers of each 121 house of the several state legislatures.