BREAKING: Assembly to Prepare for “Convention of the States” is Underway
One of the ways to do this is by an Article V Convention of the States to propose new amendments to the Constitution designed to rein in the out of control centralized government in Washington DC, bypassing Congress.
Nearly 100 lawmakers from around the country met at Mt. Vernon last year to discuss plans and gauge support for a possible convention.
No actual amendments will be discussed at the Assembly of State Legislatures meeting Thursday and Friday at the Indiana State House, Wisconsin state Rep. Chris Kapenga said, only setting the rules for how an Article Five convention would be handled. Lawmakers from 30 states are taking part.Kapenga also stressed that while the group would refrain from discussing specific amendments, they were also staying away from coordinating with any political or partisan activist groups.
“As a body we are not touching amendment subject matter and take no stance,” Kapenga, a Republican, told The Blaze. “We do not take a stance on amendment issues. This body is about process.”
In deciding on the rules, attendees to the meeting could consider such matters as how many delegates each state would have at a convention, who would appoint them and the process for considering a specific amendment.
The group of state lawmakers has no legal authority, but is putting forth a consensus blueprint for rules of the convention of the states, which would be ultimately decided by the convention or by state legislatures.
“This is strictly currently elected state legislators,” Kapenga said. “There are no meetings, money or involvement with anyone. It must stay politically pure or it takes a political slant.”Although the Convention could ultimately consider a number of ideas for amendments to the Constitution, like Congressional term limits, caps on spending and tax rates, increased transparency and oversight on Executive branch agencies, Congressional veto power over agency regulations, or even campaign finance reform, the majority of participants intend to focus on a balanced budget amendment, according to Indiana House Speaker Brian Bossma.
“The only political leaning we have is state vs. federal power,” he continued.
“The Constitution was an extremely well-thought out document. It gives the states – which created the federal government – the ability to reign in the federal government whenever it gets out of control,” Bossma said. “The biggest concerns many have about the conventions from people of all sides is this would be used to rewrite the Constitution. This would be for a balanced budget amendment only.”This is good news. While the process is arduous and slow, and there is a risk of liberal special interest groups getting involved, a Convention of the States increasingly appears to be one of the few legal recourses left to states trying to reassert their sovereignty against an overbearing and far-reaching federal government.
The movement is also gaining some momentum, as more and more pundits and lawmakers get on board in support of a convention. The push originally began with conservative radio host Mark Levin’s book The Liberty Amendments, and now has the backing of people like Allen West, Sarah Palin, and George Will, among others.
Hopefully, the delegates will be successful in reaching a consensus on setting up the rules for a convention. They are planning a third meeting later this year to finalize the rules and plans, and intend to get the actual convention underway sometime in 2015.
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