Next month a historic meeting will take place in Phoenix, Arizona at the Arizona State Capitol building that could have huge implications for small business owners in Michigan and around the country. On Tuesday, September 12th an official national convention to authorize rules to be proposed to the first Article V-approved Convention of States to amend the U.S. Constitution to include a federal Balanced Budget Amendment will begin. Delegates from around the country are invited to represent their state in this national effort. A convention of this nature has not happened in America in over 156 years.
Small business owners are fed up with the federal government’s failure to address the basic budgeting that every citizen and small business must adhere to in their daily activities. That is why NFIB has been supporting efforts to use the powers provided by the founding fathers in our Constitution to put an end to this irresponsible behavior.
Article V of the U. S. Constitution provides for two methods for changing the Constitution. One method is through Congress, and the other is through the states themselves. Congress may, by a two-thirds vote in each chamber, propose a specific amendment; if at least three-fourths of the states (38 states) ratify it, the Constitution is amended. However, Article V provides that if at least two-thirds of the states (34 states) call on Congress (in the form of state resolutions passed by the legislatures of the respective states) to form a constitutional convention to propose amendments then Congress must act on this call. The convention could then propose constitutional amendments. Under the Constitution, such amendments would take effect if ratified by at least 38 states.
NFIB has long supported Congressional action to pass a Balanced Budget Amendment, but we are stepping up our game by standing behind the state’s efforts through the Article V process as well. As of now, NFIB is the only business group in Lansing and Washington DC supporting this Article V effort.
As noted by the Balanced Budget Amendment Task Force: “The National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB) is the nation’s largest small business lobby. Internal polling of NFIB members has consistently revealed a high level of support for a balanced budget amendment. The NFIB has been key to the passage of our resolutions in every state, with top-flight lobbyists and grassroots members who have proven indispensable.”
In 2014, The National Federation of Independent Business was successful in pushing for passage of a Michigan Article V Balanced Budget Resolution. At that time, Michigan became the 23rd State to Pass a Balanced Budget Resolution. Since that time, four more states have passed Balanced Budget Amendment resolutions including Arizona and Wyoming in the spring of this year. That brings the total number of states calling for a Balanced Budget Amendment to twenty-seven states, only seven states short of the required 34 to force Congress to act on a Balanced Budget Amendment. Nine more states are targeted in 2017-2018 for passage of a Balanced Budget Amendment resolution. More information on this effort can be found HERE.