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States are Uniting to Fix the Debt. Join Us.

The federal government’s unlimited borrowing capacity has led to deficit spending and unfunded entitlement program promises that threaten fiscal calamity as the Baby Boom increasingly becomes the Retirement Boom. There is, however, a solution. And it requires your help.

You are invited to attend the first full meeting of the Compact Commission of the Compact for a Balanced Budget. The Commission is the first interstate agency formed to represent the States in uniting to advance and ratify a federal Balanced Budget Amendment through a binding interstate agreement known as the “Compact for a Balanced Budget.” H. Con. Res. 26 is the Congressional resolution needed to activate the Compact for a Balanced Budget.

Unlike any other federal Balanced Budget Amendment effort, H. Con. Res. 26 and its forthcoming Senate counterpart can be passed at any time with just simple majorities of each House of Congress. H. Con. Res. 26 gives Congress a uniquely plausible opportunity to partner with the States to fix the national debt. And you could make the difference.

. . .


THE COMPACT FOR A BALANCED BUDGET COMMISSION FORUM Rayburn House Office Building, Room 2247 Washington, DC May 25, 2016 11:30 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.


Hon. Paulette Rakestraw, Commission Chair (Presiding), Georgia State Assembly Hon. Mead Treadwell, Commissioner, Vice Chair, Alaska Lt. Governor (fmr.) Hon. Greg Snowden, Commissioner, Mississippi Speaker Pro Tem

I. Opening Statements by the Commissioners

II. Panel 1: Why the Balanced Budget Compact?

A. Kevin Gutzman, JD, PhD, Chairman of the History Department, Western Connecticut State University, on “How and Why the Federal Government Got into Its Current Fiscal Predicament”

B. Chip DeMoss, CPA, Chief Executive Officer/Treasurer, Compact for America Educational Foundation, Inc., on “Why Adding a Balanced Budget Requirement to the Constitution is Necessary”

C. Dean Clancy, MA, Partner, Adams Auld LLC, on “Why Washington Needs the Help of the States in Getting to a Balanced Budget Amendment”

III. Panel 2: The Balanced Budget Compact and Article V of the Constitution

A. Nick Dranias, JD, President and Executive Director, Compact for America Educational Foundation, Inc., on “Why the Compact for a Balanced Budget Honors Both the Letter and Spirit of Article V of the Constitution”

B. Ilya Shapiro, JD, Senior Fellow in Constitutional Studies, The Cato Institute, on “How the Compact for America Approach Strengthens Article V Procedures”

C. Andy Welch, JD, Georgia State Assembly member, Partner, Smith, Welch law firm, on “How the Compact for America Approach Comforts Legislators”

IV. Panel 3: The Balanced Budget Compact and the U.S. Economy

A. Chairman Pete Sessions, Chair of the House Rules Committee.

B. Stephen Moore, Distinguished Visiting Fellow, Project for Economic Growth, The Heritage Foundation, on “How the Compact for America Amendment will Limit Spending and Improve the Chances for Pro-Growth Tax Reform”

V. Panel 4: The Balanced Budget Compact, Congress and the States

A. Curtis Olafson, former North Dakota State Senator, on “Why Requiring State Approval of Debt Limit Increases Is a Critical Component for a Balanced Budget Amendment”

B. The Honorable Paul Gosar, DDS, on “Why Congress Should Partner with the States under Article V of the Constitution By Adopting House Concurrent Resolution 26”


Commissioner Rakestraw is a sitting member of the Georgia Assembly. She launched a successful marketing company in 1988 at the age of 21, during a time when there were not many women owned businesses. She grew the company into a multimillion-dollar business, creating hundreds of jobs in her local community. Ms. Rakestraw has served in board positions of the American Marketing Association Atlanta, and the Atlanta Direct Marketing Association. She received a Distinguished Sales & Marketing Executive award in 1997 from the Sales & Marketing Executives Association. She has been written about in Tom Stanley’s book, “The Millionaire Mind” and was featured on ABC’s 20/20 for her success in business as a young female entrepreneur.

Commissioner Treadwell is the former Lieutenant Governor of Alaska. A graduate of Yale University and the Harvard Business School, Treadwell is recognized as one of the world’s Arctic policy experts. Treadwell was appointed to the United States Arctic Research Commission by President George W. Bush in 2001 and designated by the president as the commission’s chair in 2006. As a private entrepreneur and investor, he has helped launch a series of technology, manufacturing and service companies including two publicly listed firms, and he was a founding member of the Yukon Pacific Corporation, which started the Alaska gas pipeline project. On a national level, was influential in bringing about a national missile defense system, in shaping U.S. Arctic policy and in establishing circumpolar cooperation.

Commissioner Snowden is the sitting Speaker Pro Tempore of Mississippi. Snowden’s duties as Speaker Pro Tempore include chairing the House Management Committee, which oversees all business, personnel and financial operations of the body. In addition, Snowden serves on the Joint Legislative Budget Committee, a joint committee of Representatives and Senators which prepares the state budget, and on the powerful House Rules Committee, which schedules and controls the flow of legislation. Snowden also serves as Chairman of the Mississippi House Republican Caucus, and is the current chair of the Mississippi Republican Elected Officials Association. Recognized nationally for his leadership, Greg serves on the Executive committees of both the National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL) and the Southern Legislative Conference (SLC).

Dr. Kevin Gutzman is the New York Times best-selling author of four books on American history and the Constitution. Professor and Chairman of the Department of History at Western Connecticut State University, Gutzman holds a bachelor’s degree, a master of public affairs degree, and a law degree from the University of Texas at Austin, as well as an MA and a PhD in American history from the University of Virginia.

Ilya Shapiro is a senior fellow in constitutional studies at the Cato Institute and editor-in-chief of the Cato Supreme Court Review. Before joining Cato, he was a special assistant/advisor to the Multi-National Force in Iraq on rule-of-law issues and practiced international, political, commercial, and antitrust litigation at Patton Boggs and Cleary Gottlieb. Shapiro has contributed to a variety of academic, popular, and professional publications, including the Wall Street Journal, Harvard Journal of Law & Public Policy, L.A. Times, USA Today, National Law Journal, Weekly Standard, New York Time Online, and National Review Online, and from 2004 to 2007 wrote the “Dispatches from Purple America” column for TCS He also regularly provides commentary for various media outlets, including CNN, Fox News, ABC, CBS, NBC, Univision and Telemundo, The Colbert Report, NPR, and American Public Media’s Marketplace. Shapiro has provided testimony to Congress and state legislatures and, as coordinator of Cato’s amicus brief program, filed more than 100 “friend of the court” briefs in the Supreme Court. He lectures regularly on behalf of the Federalist Society and other groups, is a member of the Legal Studies Institute’s board of visitors at The Fund for American Studies, was an inaugural Washington Fellow at the National Review Institute, and has been an adjunct professor at the George Washington University Law School.

Stephen Moore formerly was a member of The Wall Street Journal’s editorial board. Moore was also the founder and president of the Club for Growth. Over the years, Moore has served as a senior economist at the Congressional Joint Economic Committee, and as a senior economics fellow at the Cato Institute, where he published dozens of studies on federal and state fiscal policy. He was also a consultant to the National Economic Commission in 1987 and research director for President Reagan’s Commission on Privatization. Steve is a Fox News contributor along with writing regularly for National Review, Forbes’, Investor’s Business Daily, The Washington Times, and Orange County Register.

Dean Clancy is a former senior official in the White House, Congress, and the health care industry. He also served as a senior legislative advisor to the U.S. House Majority Leader (1995-2001) and on the Senate staff of the congressional Joint Economic Committee (2009-2010). From 2001 to 2004, he was staff director of the President’s Council on Bioethics. From 2004 to 2006, he was the top White House budget official on health care and entitlement issues, with a portfolio encompassing half the federal budget in dollar terms. Clancy’s private sector experience includes vice president for public policy at the six-million-member nonprofit FreedomWorks, where he led efforts to promote the ideals of lower taxes, less government, and more freedom.

Sen. Curtis Olafson served in the North Dakota Senate from 2006 to 2012. During that time, he served as the vice-chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee. Sen. Olafson has extensive legislative networks not just in North Dakota, but throughout the country in at least 20 states as a result of his longstanding advocacy of the Article V amendment process.

Nick Dranias is a recognized constitutional scholar and litigator with a specific expertise in the law of interstate compacts and a U.S. Supreme Court win under his belt. Dranias also serves as Policy Advisor and Research Fellow with the Heartland Institute and an expert with the Federalist Society, as well as an Advisory Council member for Our America Initiative. He previously served as General Counsel, Steering Committee Member, Policy Development Director, and Constitutional Policy Director for the Goldwater Institute, where he held the Clarence J. and Katherine P. Duncan Chair for Constitutional Government and directed the Joseph and Dorothy Donnelly Moller Center for Constitutional Government.

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