WHEELERweek – 5/22/17

As published by The Wheeler Report – January 13, 1995 …

Assembly Republicans moved ahead with their “fiscal responsibility” agenda. The Ways and Means Committee endorsed several Republican-sponsored initiatives, including the elimination of the sunset on cost controls on school districts. The committee also voted in favor of asking Congress to balance its budgets; give the President the line-item veto; and end unfunded mandates. The fully Assembly is expected to take up those measures on Tuesday.

Assembly Democrats criticized majority Republicans “fiscal responsibility” agenda, saying Republicans are moving too fast. Rep. Dave Travis said pushing for a balanced federal budget could lead to a “wholesale rewrite of the constitution.” He was concerned Republicans are not allowing time for public input before the initiatives are adopted. Rep. Jeannette Bell said memorializing Congress to balance the budget, fund unfunded mandates and give the President the line-item veto are meaningless actions that have less impact than writing letters to members of Congress on those issues.

And Today …

In February, Sen.  Chris Kapenga introduced SB-107 and SJR-18, Article V legislation. SJR-18 requests the State of Wisconsin apply to the U.S. Congress, under Article V of the U.S. Constitution, to call a convention for proposing amendments, for the purpose of requiring the federal government to operate under a balanced budget. In addition, SJR-18 constitutes a continuing application for a convention for proposing amendments in accordance with Article V of the U.S. Constitution until such a convention is convened on the subject or until the Wisconsin Legislature rescinds this resolution. If SJR-18 is passed, SB-107 is the enacting legislation which would direct the legislature and the governor to appoint seven delegates to attend and present the state as delegates for the convention.  The Speaker of the Assembly would appoint two members of the Assembly as delegates, the Assembly Minority Leader would appoint one member, the Senate President would appoint two members of the Senate as delegates and the Senate Minority Leader would appoint one member. The Governor would appoint one member of either the Assembly or the Senate as a delegate.

Twenty-seven states have active Article V resolutions calling for a convention for drafting a balanced budget amendment. Wisconsin is one of nine additional states making efforts to pass resolutions.

Sen. Kapenga told The Wheeler Report, ‘For generations, the American people have called on Congress to put its fiscal house in order, and now each taxpayer owes an unprecedented $165,000 in debt. We are drowning in debt yet Congress does not act. It’s time the states exercise their constitutional authority under Article V to draft a proposed amendment that, if subsequently ratified, would require the federal government to balance the budget.”