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The Villages
Wednesday, April 24, 2024

DeSantis calls for constitutional reforms to hold Congress accountable

Gov. Ron DeSantis is calling for constitutional reforms to hold the U.S. Congress “accountable” to protect the people of Florida from a “reckless” federal government.

“Washington, D.C. works for itself, not the American people,” DeSantis said. “The current incentives in D.C. are to put American citizens last and that needs to change. These reforms – term limits, a balanced budget requirement, a president line-item veto, and a requirement that all laws apply equally to members of Congress – will return power from entrenched D.C. elites to the American people and will incentivize better behavior by those in D.C.”

The governor, who is a former member of Congress, is calling for the following proposed amendments: a balanced federal budget, Congressional term limits, equal laws for the public and members of Congress, and line-item veto authority for the President of the United States.

He has outlined details of his proposed constitutional reforms:

Balanced Federal Budget (HCR 703/SCR 324)

The concurrent resolution constitutes the state’s application to Congress under Article V of the United States Constitution to call a convention for the sole purpose of considering and proposing constitutional amendments to the Constitution requiring a balanced federal budget, in the absence of a national emergency.

Congressional Term Limits (HCR 693/SCR 326)

The concurrent resolution constitutes the state’s application to Congress under Article V of the United States Constitution to call a convention for the sole purpose of considering and proposing constitutional amendments limiting the number of terms a member of Congress may serve. The concurrent resolution does not specify the number of terms that members should be allowed to serve.

Currently, there is not a limit on the number of terms a member of Congress may serve. In the early 1990s, 23 states, including Florida, approved state constitutional amendments or passed laws imposing congressional term limits. However, in 1995, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that congressional term limits may only be imposed by amending the U.S. Constitution.

Line-Item Veto

Propose a concurrent resolution that will constitute the state’s application to Congress under Article V of the United States Constitution to call a convention for the sole purpose of considering and proposing a constitutional amendment that gives the President of the United States line-item veto authority for all appropriations.

Equal Laws for the Public and Members of Congress

Propose a concurrent resolution that will constitute the state’s application to Congress under Article V of the United States Constitution to call a convention for the sole purpose of considering and proposing a constitutional amendment that provides that Congress may not pass any law with an effect on the people that does not apply to members of Congress.

Article V of the United States Constitution provides the specific process for amending the document. Congress may directly propose amendments to the Constitution, the method used for each amendment ratified since the Constitution went into effect. Alternatively, upon application by the legislatures of two-thirds of the states, Congress must call a convention for the purpose of proposing amendments. A proposed amendment goes into effect once ratified by the legislatures or state conventions of three-fourths of the states; the method of ratification being solely the choice of Congress. These four concurrent resolutions will constitute the state’s application to Congress under Article V of the United States Constitution to call a constitutional convention for the purpose of considering the four proposed amendments.

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