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Guldenschuh, Hufstetler among Ga. leaders appointed to balanced budget conference

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Georgia Senate President Pro Tem David Shafer and House Speaker David Ralston have appointed two Romans among five Georgia commissioners to attend the first national conference of states meeting in Phoenix, Arizona, beginning Sept. 12.

Rome attorney and 2016 Republican National Convention delegate David Gulden­schuh and State Senator Chuck Hufstetler-R, of Rome, will be joined by Rep. Timothy Barr, R-Lawrenceville, Rep. Andrew Welch, R-McDonough, and Sen. Bill Cowsert, R-Athens.

The conference of states was called for by the Arizona legislature to start the planning for a prospective balanced budget amendment to the U.S. Constitution. In order to pass such an amendment, 34 states have to pass a resolution calling for the convention and 38 states would have to ratify any proposed amendment.

Guldenschuh said this would be the first national conference of states since 1861 when the Washington Peace convention was called prior to the inauguration of Abraham Lincoln in an effort to save the union. That effort failed but Guldenschuh said the Arizona effort would “show everybody the process works.”

All of the amendments to the Constitution to date have been initiated by Congress. “But our founding fathers knew there would come a time when the federal government would become dysfunctional so they created a way to circumvent Congress to amend the Constitution,” Guldenschuh said.

“We’re still a few states short of the two-thirds needed to call a Constitutional Convention,” Hufstetler said. “Washington has shown that it is broken and the states are going to have to step forward and help guide the financial condition of this country.”

Hufstetler said he hopes the conference in Arizona would show officials in the at least seven more states needed to call a convention, that an amendment convention can be a successful undertaking.