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States should propose a balanced budget amendment

Rep. Kim Koppelman, who is exploring a possible run for Congress in North Dakota, today urged states to work together to propose a Balanced Budget Amendment, because Congress won't act.

"Some in Congress have worked hard to pass a Constitutional amendment to balance the federal budget. I support their efforts, but today's vote indicates that, once again, Washington refuses to limit its own power."

"It may be time for states to impose the fiscal discipline on Washington that Washington politicians seem simply unable to impose on themselves," said Koppelman.

"Real reform will come when we have more leaders in Washington who are serious about taking power out of Washington and give it back to the states and the people," he continued.

It is reported that, in the vote today, some in Congress who previously supported a balanced budget amendment now oppose it.

"Since Congress apparently can't muster the two-thirds vote necessary to propose a balanced budget amendment, a bipartisan coalition of states need to work together to propose one," said Koppelman.

Koppelman emphasized that both states and members of Congress can take concrete steps to empower states to propose an individual amendment to the U.S. Constitution without any risk of a runaway convention.

"With my leadership, North Dakota became the first state in the nation to propose the Madison Amendment to guarantee that states have the same power as Congress to propose an individual Amendment to the U.S. Constitution without fear of a runaway convention," said Koppelman. "That's what our founders intended and it's time to act."

"States can also enact laws and state constitutional provisions to strengthen the states' power to work together to propose an Amendment," said Koppelman.  My experience as national Chairman of the Council of State Governments taught me that states can have real power if they act together."

"Congress could also take concrete steps, such as adopting Rules in the House and Senate to ensure that states can more easily use their Constitutional power to propose an individual amendment to the Constitution," he pointed out. "That would take the power out of Washington and return it to the people and those who represent them around the country."

We need leadership in Washington that focuses on how to empower states, not just on how to empower themselves," said Koppelman.

That is one reason I am strongly considering a candidacy for Congress," he said.

Koppelman represents West Fargo's District 13 in the North Dakota House of Representatives, where he has served since 1994. In the Legislature, he chairs the Constitutional Revision and Administrative Rules Committees. In 2008, he was national Chairman of the Council of State Governments (CSG). Two weeks ago, he announced that he was forming an Exploratory Committee to consider becoming a candidate for the U.S. House of Representatives.