The State Senate voted unanimously Thursday to pass Senate Joint Resolution 493 making Tennessee the nation’s 22nd state to call for a balanced federal budget. The resolution, introduced by Senator Brian Kelsey (R-Germantown), calls for a convention of the states pursuant to Article V of the United States Constitution that would require Congress to balance the federal budget each year. Specifically, the resolution states that in the absence of a congressional declaration of war or an economic recession, the total of all federal appropriations made by the Congress for any fiscal year may not exceed the total of all estimated federal revenues for that fiscal year.
“Seventeen trillion dollars of debt is the single greatest threat to American national security,” said Senator Kelsey. “The federal government must learn to live within its means.”
House Joint Resolution 548, sponsored by Rep. Dennis Powers has passed out of the State Government Committee and is scheduled to be heard on the House floor on Monday. Once 34 states have passed similar resolutions, a convention of the states must convene.
“The Founding Fathers gave states the ability to call for an Article V convention to reign in the federal government," concluded Senator Kelsey. “We should use it.”