Ohio Joins Other States Calling On Congress To Pass Balanced Budget

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Gov. John Kasich traveled to Lima on Monday to sign a letter encouraging Congress to support a balanced budget amendment to the U.S. Constitution.

"When you spend a lot more than you take in year after year, bad things are going to happen," said Kasich.  "This balanced budget initiative isn't stalled - it's kind of dead in the country.  There are 19 other states that have passed an amendment like this and Ohio is the 20th."

Kasich and Republican legislative leaders want a constitutional convention to force Congress to pass a balanced budget amendment.  

A letter signed by Kasich and Ohio senate president Keith Faber and House Speaker Bill Batchelder is being sent to President Obama, Majority Leader Harry Reid and Speaker John Boehner.

Kasich says special interest groups are a major reason why Congress has failed to bring spending under control.

"What happens is, the pressure on the Congress that is created by special interest groups without requirement of a balanced budget allows for free-for-all spending," said Kasich.

Central Ohio congressman Steve Stivers was also in Lima to endorse the idea.

"I'm 48 years old and, in my lifetime, the federal government has only balanced its budget four times, and that's thanks to the leadership of Gov. Kasich when he was in Congress" said Stivers.  "I have a four year old daughter and two year old and I want to make sure they don't get buried in a mountain of debt."

A constitutional convention is triggered if 34 state legislatures ask for it. It would take ratification by 38 states to take effect.

Kasich says if the effort builds momentum, Congress would balance the budget before a convention takes place.

Critics point out that Republicans controlled the White House and both chambers in Congress from 2003 to 2007 and never called for a vote on the balanced budget amendment.