A national group says its campaign to convene an unprecedented U.S. constitutional convention to balance the federal budget has a new leader: former Republican Gov. Scott Walker.
The Center for State-led National Debt Solutions on Monday announced Walker will serve as its national honorary chairman.
It marks one of the first efforts by Walker to re-enter the political fray since his November election loss to Gov. Tony Evers.
In 2017, Wisconsin became the 28th state to request an Article V convention — so named for the article of the U.S. Constitution that sanctions the process.
According to the Constitution, two-thirds of the states (34) must request such a convention for one to occur. Walker will lead an effort to get six more states to make the request. Any constitutional amendments proposed during a convention would have to be ratified by three-fourths of states (38).
The center will focus on 10 states to make a convention a reality, according to a statement.
Walker spokesman Tom Evenson declined in an email Monday to say how much Walker will be paid for the job or whether it will involve lobbying.
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“Gov. Walker will help guide the overall 10-state strategy and raise national awareness of the balanced budget amendment effort,” Evenson said.
The center’s president, Loren Enns, said in a statement that adding Walker to the effort will make an Article V convention a reality.
“With Governor Walker’s involvement, the national campaign for a balanced budget amendment finally has the high-profile leader it has lacked,” Enns said.
The concept of an Article V convention is controversial, with proponents calling it perhaps the only way to rein in federal debt and deficits. Critics fear a “runaway” convention at which other far-reaching proposals could surface — even ones that undermine basic constitutional freedoms.
Walker said in the statement that projections show the fast-growing federal debt threatens to claim as much as 25 percent of federal revenue within the decade. Yearly federal deficits — which grew under President George W. Bush and increased further under President Barack Obama in the aftermath of the Great Recession and then declined — have begun increasing sharply under President Donald Trump.
“Where Washington has failed, the states must step up and lead — using their constitutional authority to solve the problem,” Walker said in the statement.