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Convention of States

Yesterday, South Carolina became the 19th state to formally call for a Convention of States to amend the U.S. Constitution. This is something I support, and I appreciate the efforts of those in the SC Statehouse and Governor McMaster on this front.

Here’s the problem: our country is destined for ruin if we cannot get our fiscal house in order. We’re $30 trillion in debt, and the problem is there is no appetite in Congress to cut spending, cut waste, and start paying down debt. Zero, zilch, nada. For decades, leaders in Washington have paid trillions for things we don’t need, with money we don’t have. Republicans are equally to blame as Democrats.

I do not believe our federal government should spend more than it takes in unless we’re in a period of declared war. However, there isn’t a majority in Congress who feel the same way. We continue to spend more than we have, year after year, and debt continues to pile up.

One day our nation will collapse under the weight of this debt. Meanwhile, those responsible will probably not be around to face the wrath of their decisions.

We’re at a cliff’s edge. Every major trust fund is going broke. Think about that for a moment. Every. Single. Fund of taxpayer dollars entrusted to our politicians is collapsing. The Old-Age, Survivors, and Disability Insurance (OASDI) Trust Fund, which covers Social Security, is projected to become insolvent in 2032. That’s just one decade away. The Hospital Insurance Trust Fund, which covers Medicare Part A, will be exhausted as soon as 2026. There is also increasing concern about the growing projected long-term costs of the Supplemental Medical Insurance Trust Fund, which covers Medicare Parts B and D. Meanwhile, Democrats want us to spend trillions of dollars on Green New Deal priorities, “free” tuition and childcare, and amnesty for illegal immigrants.

That is why I believe we must call for a constitutional convention to address the two most urgent problems facing our nation: our growing national debt and the corruption and failure of our politicians.

Without fiscal responsibility, our children and grandchildren will be lifting the burden that we leave for them as a result of our reckless, out-of-control spending. It is IMMORAL for one generation to leave the country in a worse state than they found it, yet that’s exactly what we are doing to our children and grandchildren.

We DESPERATELY NEED a balanced budget amendment. Every day, households and businesses across the country balance their budget to make ends meet. And almost every state in our Union balances its budget. Americans know how to manage their money, except for Congress. Congress has not passed a budget on time in years. In fact, in the last four decades, you can count on one hand the number of times Congress has managed to pass all of its required appropriations measures on time. This year is no exception.

Facing this calamity, why are other politicians in Congress not acting? That brings me to the second issue before us. We need term limits to end the corruption of career politicians. In other words, we need to drain the swamp.

Politics should be a duty, not a career. All politicians should come home to live under the laws they pass. That is why last year, I introduced legislation to enact term limits. I believe term limits would cut the most perverse incentives of politicians who do the bidding of special interests and lobbyists to stay in office forever. It is these swamp creatures who prevent any meaningful reform on the budget and other important issues.

Everyone wants their agenda funded, taxpayer dollars for their pet projects, or to serve their own interests. Out of most congressional offices is a never-ending line of people who want to spend money on something, but no one in that line is willing to say we are spending too much. Only by limiting the tenure of politicians can we stop the waste of taxpayer dollars.

It’s no wonder that people are fed up with Congress. According to a recent Gallup poll, Congress’ approval rating is at a mere 18 percent. Among the electorate, there is general concern that the federal government has gotten far too big and that Congress is not acting in the best interest of the people.

That’s an understatement.

I realize there are some concerns with a constitutional convention. But I firmly believe these amendments – especially the balanced budget amendment – are vital to the survival of our nation. However, they will never see the light of day if these amendments originate from Congress itself.

So a Convention of States would bring power back to the states and better reflect the will of the people. 34 states are needed to require Congress to call a convention. With South Carolina being the 19th, we’re more than halfway there.

I believe that we the people, not entrenched bureaucrats, are what gives our government power and what makes our nation great. When the people step up and take back this power, it is an embodiment of what our nation’s founders envisioned when writing Article V of the Constitution. I fully support the Convention of States, and I’m excited to see what meaningful and long overdue change we will bring, together.