After 30 Years, Del. John Overington's Balanced Budget Amendment Resolution Passes West Virginia

CHARLESTON, W.Va. - March 13, 2016 - PRLog -- On the last day of its legislative session, the West Virginia legislature adopted H.C.R. 36, a resolution applying for an Article V Convention to exclusively consider a federal Balance Budget Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.

The Senate approved H.C.R. 36 in a 17-16 vote Saturday. The House approved it on Friday with a 66-27 vote with bipartisan support.

Del. John Overington added, "I am proud that West Virginia has joined with 27 other states to call a limited convention under Article V to force the Federal government to get its fiscal house in order. It is unconscionable that we are leaving our children and grandchildren a legacy of debt."

David Biddulph, Co-founder of the Balanced Budget Amendment Task Force, noted, "The passage of H.C.R. 36 could not have happened without the enormous efforts of the sponsor, Delegate John Overington (R-62), who has introduced this legislation for 30 years."

The proposed amendment would require a federal balanced budget without tax increases, according to Tom Llewellyn, Co-founder of the Balanced Budget Amendment Task Force.

"We're looking for the amendment to really help establish a standard that would allow for the government to start setting priorities instead of saying 'yes' to everyspending proposal," he said.

The U.S. federal government has run up a debt of over 19 trillion dollars, largely to underwrite past and present consumption using resources that should belong to future Americans.  That debt continues to grow every year.  Congress has shown itself unable or unwilling to operate within its means.  Never before in the history of this country has one generation left the next generation in such a precarious fiscal situation.

According to Balanced Budget Amendment Task Force leaders,momentum is building fast in pursuit of this state-driven amendment designed to reign-in the excessive spending of Congress.

Article V of the Constitution provides both Congress and the states with the exact same authority to propose a balanced budget amendment. Congress has shown no willingness to do so.  Under the second option inArticle V, it takes 34 to states to apply for a convention and 38 states to ratify an amendment to the U.S. Constitution.

"The ability of states to propose amendments," said Biddulph, "was put in the constitution to address the very circumstance we find ourselves in today, namely an unresponsive and out-of-control Congress that refuses to deal with critical issues, such as the massive debt."

Bill Fruth, Co-founder, and David Guldenschuh, of Counsel, Balanced Budget Amendment Task Force, provided expert testimony before the West Virginia legislature on the dire need for a balanced budget amendment and the Article V process.

The total U.S. debt has increased every year since 1957 (U.S. Treasury Department). Now only 10 countries out of world's 193 have a higher total debt to G.D.P. ratio than does the U.S. (107%). That list includes: Greece - 159%, Jamaica-147%, Italy-127% & Portugal-123%. (Source: I.M.F.) The non-partisan Congressional Budget Office recently estimated that under current law the federal government will be $27.2 trillion in debt by 2024 for an average increase in total debt of $1 trillion per year.

According to data compiled by the Balanced Budget Amendment Task Force, 28 states, including West Virginia, have "active" applications to hold an interstate meeting (convention) to draft a balanced budget amendment. Only six more states are needed to bring abouta limited convention under Article V.

The Balanced Budget Amendment Task Force is a non-profit, non-partisan coalition whose mission is to educate state legislators on their Constitutional power to propose and ratify a Balanced Budget Amendment to the U.S. Constitution that aims to quadruple family income and pay off the nation's debt within four generations.

To learn more about the national campaign for a U.S. Balanced Budget Amendment, visit

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