States are joining an effort to amend the U.S. Constitution to limit the federal government’s overreach by calling a convention of states.
Background: As the U.S. debt continues to climb, more and more Americans have become concerned by the long-term effects decisions made by the federal government will have on states.
Details: Under Article V of the Constitution, state legislatures can bypass Congress to propose and vote on constitutional amendments through a convention of states.
It takes 34 states to call the convention and 38 states are needed to ratify an amendment.
What Happened: The Nebraska Legislature passed a resolution on Jan. 28 calling on states to begin the formal process to pass constitutional amendments that would limit the federal government’s spending and jurisdiction, as well as set term limits for members of Congress.
Nebraska state Sen. Steve Halloran sponsored the resolution.
Halloran’s resolution, LR14, is Nebraska’s application for a convention that would discuss amendments to “impose fiscal restraints on the federal government, limit the power and jurisdiction of the federal government, and limit the terms of office for its officials and for members of Congress.”
“We have to look at the historic surroundings of when the Constitution was drafted in Philadelphia in 1787 and understand full well what the Founding Fathers had in mind for the states to have equal footing with the Congress in proposing amendments,” Halloran said. He told Fox News he believes this is the states’ opportunity to reclaim powers they relinquished to the federal government. (per Fox News)
Why It’s Important: A convention of states has never been called in U.S. history.
Nebraska’s decision to join the effort marked the halfway point of the number of states needed to call the convention to order.
What Comes Next: The resolution has passed one chamber in eight states, and legislation is pending in 15 more state legislatures.