HOUSTON--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Called “innovative” by syndicated columnist George Will and using an approach endorsed by Harvard law professor Lawrence Lessig, a bipartisan effort to get Congress and 38 states to fix the national debt was announced today.
The Compact for America (CFA) initiative would, for the first time in U.S. history, give states a role in restraining Washington’s irresponsible debt spending.
Chip DeMoss, chief executive officer of Compact for America Educational Foundation, Inc., said Republican takeover of the Senate, as well as GOP gains in the House and in state-level elections, present a historic opportunity for permanent, bipartisan debt reform as early as 2015. “Senate leaders Mitch McConnell and Harry Reid can add their support to a reform that will help Americans for generations to come,” he added.
“Unlimited debt spending is bankrupting our nation,” said DeMoss. “We’re borrowing our kids’ futures with federal spending today, and they’ll face insurmountable taxation to cover the bill. The only way to roll back the deficit is to introduce a check and balance from the states.”
The CFA solution: A constitutional amendment requiring a federal debt limit, which may only be increased with approval from 26 or more state legislatures. This amendment is carried by a formal agreement among the states, referred to as the “Compact for a Balanced Budget” (http://media.wix.com/ugd/e48202_f7fa0389d3dd4f7a84eb3c9670bb5918.pdf), which streamlines and safeguards the convention process authorized by Article V of the U.S. Constitution.
CFA President & Executive Director Nick Dranias said state involvement is key. “State legislators are closer to – and more responsive to – constituents than their Beltway counterparts,” he said. “They’re a common-sense check against runaway Washington spending.”
A FAST PATH TO BUDGET REFORM
Dranias, former constitutional policy director of the Goldwater Institute (http://goldwaterinstitute.org), said approval of 38 states and simple majorities of Congress are required, with two states – Alaska and Georgia – already on board. The remaining states can approve the initiative in upcoming legislative sessions scheduled during the first five months of 2015.
DeMoss said the CFA initiative is designed so structural reforms can be achieved in as few as 12 months, adding that no similar effort is as close to achieving this goal.
As part of its national roll-out, Thomas C. Patterson, longtime chairman of the Goldwater Institute and former Arizona Senate Majority Leader, has agreed to serve as chairman of the Compact for America Educational Foundation, Inc.
A second organization – Compact for America Action (http://CompactforAmerica-Action.org) – will enable grassroots activity nationwide to support of the initiative.
To learn more about Compact for America, visit http://compactforamerica.org.
ABOUT COMPACT FOR AMERICA
Compact for America Educational Foundation, Inc. is a not-for-profit, tax-exempt educational 501(c)(3) organization that educates elected officials and citizens about the use of interstate compact agreements and counterpart federal legislation to originate, propose and ratify constitutional amendments.