The Spending Limit Amendment

by Ryan on March 7, 2010

in Economy,Election 2010,Law,Politics

Three House Republicans, Mike Pence, Jeb Hensarling, and John Campbell, are proposing a Constitutional amendment which states that Federal spending shall not exceed 20% of the economy unless in times of war, debt repayment or by the will of a 2/3 vote in both houses of Congress.

Known as the Spending Limit Amendment (pdf file), co-author Mike Pence makes clear in this C-SPAN video why this not a radical proposal and really quite reasonable:

The SLA, however, faces a daunting task — the Constitution has 27 Amendments, but throughout history nearly 5000 have been proposed!  Not very good chances, but the co-authors understand that.  If they fail through traditional means, I think Pence and crew might want to try the amendment process through the state convention provision in Article V — from what I understand, it’s the only part of the Constitution which has never been used.  It’s a long shot, but short of repealing the 16th Amendment (income tax), I can’t see any way to prevent the Congress from controlling spending unless they are compelled to.

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