Seven Republican Tennessee state lawmakers will head to Phoenix next week for the Balanced Budget Amendment Planning Convention.
The purpose of convention, which starts Tuesday and is expected to last through Thursday or Friday, is to lay the groundwork for an anticipated convention convened under Article V of the U.S. Constitution to propose a balanced budget amendment.
The lawmakers include Sens. Mark Green (R-Clarksville), Mike Bell (R-Riceville), Frank Niceley (R-Strawberry Plains) and Bill Ketron (R-Murfreesboro), and Reps. Jay Reedy (R-Erin), Sheila Butt (R-Columbia) and Dennis Powers (R-Jacksboro).
The national convention of the states next week is the first held since 1861, when states met to discuss an amendment they hoped would avert a civil war.
A resolution submitted to the convention by the Tennessee delegation is the first draft of rules presented for consideration, according to a news release issued by the Tennessee Senate Republicans.
“The resolution filed by our delegation will serve as a guide to the discussion to get the ball rolling on rules to govern an Article V convention to balance the federal budget,” said Sen. Bell. “Our nation’s founders, Mason and Madison, insisted there be a method to amend the Constitution, fearing that at some point in the future the federal government would grow to such a size that they would become deaf to the concerns of the states. This is contained in Article V. Looking at our national debt, which has now reached a $20 trillion, we as a state have a duty and responsibility to try and rein this in.”
Sen. Green said the national debt “poses great harm to our economy and security.”
Rep. Reedy said that “the folks in Washington have operated with utter disregard to fiscal responsibility for far too long.”
“This planning convention will go a long way toward allowing states to take the lead in order to end government waste and curb our nation’s spending habits,” Reedy said.
More information about the convention can be found at bbaplanningconvention.org.