Arkansas Joins States’ Rights Move on Federal Debt
LITTLE ROCK — Arkansas today joined 22 other states who intend to limit Congress’ continual, unilateral raising of our national debt by putting the states “in the driver’s seat” under Article 5 of the U.S. Constitution.
Introducing the National Debt Relief Amendment (NDRA) today at the State Capitol during the Conservative Caucus meeting, State Senator Jason Rapert (R, Conway) said NDRA simply says that “an increase in the federal debt requires approval from a majority of the legislatures of the separate states.”
Arkansas could be the third state nation-wide to approve the identical measure, which North Dakota and Louisiana have already passed. Twenty-two other states are currently considering it.
“Our federal debt has reached over 102% of our country’s total output, folks, and we simply must do something,” Senator Rapert said. “This is a bi-partisan issue we can all get behind. Here in Arkansas, state taxes equal only $4.7 billion of the $20 billion our state spent last year. You do the math.”
“Arkansas depends on federal turn-back funds for over 75% of what we spend,” Senator Rapert continued. “If the system fails, Arkansas is one of the first states to take that very hard fall. I talked to our Congressmen in Washington; they’ve tried and done their best. But Congress is at a budgeting / money gridlock, so the states must take action,” he added.
Senator Rapert specified the support in the Senate and the House that he has lined up over the last few weeks. Like all resolutions and bills, SJR 1 must first pass out of committee. That would take only 18 votes, Senator Rapert said, and once on the floor he believes it will pass, putting Arkansas square in the lead on taking actual action to curb our staggering federal debt load.