COLUMBIA — Former Republican governors Mike Huckabee and Scott Walker will visit South Carolina on Wednesday to build support for a constitutional amendment forcing Congress to adopt a balanced budget.
“Everyone seems to understand the dire threat posed by the U.S. national debt but nobody seems to know what to do about it,” Huckabee, Arkansas’ governor from 1996 through 2007, said in a recorded message sent to S.C. Republican House and Senate leadership this week.
Huckabee and Walker, of Wisconsin, want to see a Convention of the States — a process by which amendments can be added to the Constitution with three-fourths approval of state legislatures, a total of 38.
A convention can be called for an array of reasons, from campaign finance reform to term limits, but Huckabee and Walker are pushing solely for a balanced budget amendment.
As of 2017, 29 legislatures have approved the application and efforts are underway to bring the Palmetto State on board.
State Senate Majority Leader Shane Massey, R-Edgefield, has sponsored two of five bills that would throw South Carolina’s support behind the convention to require a federally balanced budget. All the bills remain in committee.
As of January, the nation’s debt has risen to nearly $23 trillion.
Last year, the U.S. Treasury Department’s Office of Debt Management projected that by 2024, every new dollar borrowed will go toward covering interest on money already owed, a “death spiral” as Huckabee called it in his message.
Arkansas lawmakers have approved a convention application, and Walker — who ran Wisconsin from 2011 to 2019 — is pushing for all other states to follow.
Huckabee and Walker are expected to meet with Gov. Henry McMaster, and Walker is expected to attend the governor's State of the State address on Wednesday night.
The visit by the pair of former presidential hopeful coincides with the rollout of whynotsc.org., a website set up to explain the need for South Carolina’s involvement in a Convention of the States.
“Without a doubt five years from now, our nation will start an inescapable slide toward bankruptcy. That is, unless we do something about it, and do it know,” Huckabee said.