Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (File)

Florida Gov. DeSantis, State Lawmakers Call For Federal Term Limits, U.S. Constitutional Reforms

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (File)
Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (File)

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

DeSantis and Florida state lawmakers are pushing 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.

“Washington, D.C. works for itself, not the American people,” said DeSantis. “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.”

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“Our state’s success is built into our constitution,” said Speaker of the House Paul Renner. “In Florida, we’ve proven that a balanced budget amendment and term limits work. That’s why we’ve passed resolutions urging Congress to enact them on the federal level. We will pass additional resolutions that support amendments prohibiting Congress from excluding its Members from any law it passes and giving the President of the United States line-item veto authority on the federal budget. It’s time Congress tries things the Florida Way.”

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.

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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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“The line item veto, term limits, and balanced budget requirements have worked well here in Florida, and help our state guard against the rampant corruption, abuses of power, and overspending we see in Washington,” said Senate President Kathleen Passidomo. “Our founding fathers envisioned elected service as a short-term sacrifice, not a means of personal enrichment in which elected officials can pick and choose which laws to follow. The American people are fed up. With these initiatives, Florida is sending a strong message that the federal government must be accountable to the people.”

“I am pleased to join Governor DeSantis and Speaker Renner as together they have shown how to lead our state with commonsense limits on government, while expanding freedom and opportunity for all,” said Foundation for Government Accountability President and CEO Tarren Bragdon. “These four amendments take lessons from Florida to Washington, D.C. where they are sorely needed.”

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