ALEC: BBA Could Resolve America’s Debt Problems

By Stuart MacPhail – September, 2020
On August 11 the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) published an article by Karla Jones entitled A Balanced Budget Amendment Could Put America on a Sustainable Fiscal Path.

The article highlighted one of the workshops held in conjunction with the group’s Annual Meeting, and includes a link to a video of that workshop.  Ms. Jones’ article noted that one of the workshop’s panelists, Ohio Senator Matt Huffman said, [I]t is time for all Americans to reject ‘infighting’ in order to meet this challenge, and that we need ‘more robust state legislative involvement in this process’.”

Jones said, “Highlighting the threat posed by America’s national debt (now higher than every industrialized economy except Portugal, Greece, Japan and Italy) is a valuable exercise in fiscal responsibility. Raising the profile of an Article V convention of the states as a tool available to the states to drive national initiatives, including to propose a BBA, is an important contribution to the popular discourse. It also underscores the power of America’s system of federalism to address our nation’s most intractable challenges.”  Read her article HERE.

Associated Press Covered the ALEC Workshop
Associated Press writer Michael Biesecker wrote a report on the above workshop that was carried by numerous newspapers across the country, including the New York Times.  It was headlined Budget hawks hatch plan to force constitutional convention.  Read it HERE.

The Biesecker report was favorable, but included some substantial inaccuracies about the Article V processes.  The article focused on a proposal advanced at the workshop that since Congress continues to turn a blind eye to the scores of Article V applications it has received, a federal mandamus lawsuit could force Congress to call an Article V Convention to propose a balanced budget amendment to the US Constitution.

The Beisecker story said that workshop participant David Biddulph advocated for ”… recruiting state attorneys general to file a legal order demanding that Congress recognize the 34 state resolutions and convene a constitutional convention.  If Congress refuses, the AGs would sue in federal court.”  Biddulph was also quoted as saying, “We think that the shortest path to actually getting a date for an Article V convention is through the Supreme Court.”

Biddulph, of the Let Us Vote for a BBA campaign, promptly notified Biesecker about the inaccuracies and provided links to improve his understanding of the Article V process.  Biddulph’s reply can be read HERE.

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