Supporting the balanced budget amendment‏

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Last month, a grassroots group known as Pass the Balanced Budget Amendment (BBA) sought support from legislators across the nation to bring attention to the need for a balanced budget amendment to the United States constitution. Since three-fourths of the states must ratify any constitutional amendment, it is important for state legislators to support the proposal.
This is not a new concept. In 1982, President Ronald Regean called on Congress to approve a balanced budget amendment.
Reagan stated, “This amendment will, of course, have to be ratified by three-fourths of the States. But I’m confident that the grassroots support for a balanced budget amendment is out there and will carry the day against the special interests. Most Americans understand the need for a balanced budget, and most Americans have seen how difficult it is for the Congress to withstand the pressures for more spending. This amendment will force government to stay within the limit of its revenues. Government will have to do what each of us does with our own family budgets — spend no more than we can afford. Only a constitutional amendment will do the job. We’ve tried the carrot and it failed. With the stick of a balanced budget amendment, we can stop government squandering, overtaxing ways, and save our economy.”
Congress never heeded Reagan’s call. At that time, the national debt was under 2 trillion dollars. Now, the debt is set to surpass 14 trillion dollars, and charts show the debt is rapidly increasing in a frightening hockey stick curve.
I believe that when Congress refused to heed Reagan’s call, they may have passed the point of no return. However, some in Congress have viewed the recent debate over raising the national debt limit as another opportunity to introduce the balanced budget amendment.
I felt this issue was of such importance that I volunteered to circulate a letter documenting the commitment of Oklahoma legislators to ratify the amendment.
I am happy to report that there is a tremendous amount of support for the proposal in our legislature. Getting legislators to sign a policy letter during a legislative interim is not an easy task. However, the sentiment for the issue was so strong, that 42 legislators immediately signed on. I don’t think I ever recall a time when so many legislators signed onto a policy letter.
After the letter was mailed, a significant number of additional legislators expressed a desire to also sign the letter. We will have to send another letter. In total, it appears that a bi-partisan majority of the Oklahoma House of Representatives will have signed on.
There is little doubt that if given the opportunity, Oklahoma will become one of the first states to ratify the balanced budget amendment.

State Representative Jason Murphey
State Capitol Building – Room #437
2300 North Lincoln Blvd
Oklahoma City, OK 73105
1(405) 557-7350 (Office)
1(405) 315-5064 (Cell)


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