Stop Deceptive Constitutional Convention Bill

URGENT: Members of Congress have introduced a resolution to call an Article V Constitutional Convention, or Con-Con. If enacted, this would decimate the Constitution and the God-given individual liberties that it protects. Deceptively, the resolution aggregates old, rescinded, and unrelated state legislative applications to Congress for a convention.

House Concurrent Resolution 101 (H.Con.Res.101) is sponsored by Jodey Arrington (R-Texas) and cosponsored by Yvette Herrell (R-N.M.) and Brian Fitzpatrick (R-Pa.). If passed by the House and Senate, it would call “a Convention for proposing amendments to the Constitution of the United States,” and require Congress to “set the date and place for the Convention to occur” within 180 days after the U.S. Archivist certifies that at least 34 states have applied for a Con-Con.

Importantly, H.Con.Res.101 deceptively reaches the 34-state threshold for calling a convention by aggregating “Balanced Budget Amendment” (BBA) applications with unrelated — and in many cases, centuries-old — applications for a plenary convention. The resolution states:

Whereas congressional and State records of purported plenary applications for amendments on any subject and applications for single subject Fiscal Responsibility Amendments compiled by the Article V Library list 42 total applications over time, 39 active applications in 1979, 40 active applications in 1983, and at least 34 active applications in many years thereafter[.]

Despite mentioning “Fiscal Responsibility Amendments” (FRA) in its preamble, H.Con.Res.101 does not limit the scope of the convention to only BBA or FRA Con-Con applications — there is nothing stopping Congress from considering any other topic in the Constitutional Convention it would call under the resolution.

The John Birch Society has been warning about this aggregation scheme. Delegates to any constitutional convention possess the inherent sovereign right of the people at large to propose any amendments or an entirely new constitution, as was the case in the original Convention of 1787. In other words, any Constitutional Convention under Article V cannot be limited. In a 1982 interview with the Los Angeles Times, President Ronald Reagan said, “Well, constitutional conventions are kind of prescribed as a last resort, because then once it’s open, they could take up any number of things.”

He was right. A Constitutional Convention, under Article V, could reverse the existing Constitution’s limitations on government power and interference. Furthermore, the aggregation scheme decimates any possible notions that the convention would be “limited” or confined to a single subject or amendments.

Additionally, every so-called “balanced budget amendment” proposal includes loopholes or escape clauses that would easily allow Congress to continue to increase spending and/or raise taxes. In other words, these amendments would make an unbalanced budget constitutional!

Commenting on H.Con.Res.101, one Con-Con proponent claimed the resolution was “designed to restore federal fiscal sanity.” However, as shown above, this claim is false. Rather, all Congress needs to do is to end its wasteful and unconstitutional spending; if it does this, federal spending would likely decrease by at least 80%, thus quickly eliminating our nation’s fiscal problems.

Accordingly, Congress must reject H.Con.Res.101 and every other dangerous Con-Con proposal. And instead, it must get serious about out-of-control spending by simply ending it. Please urge your U.S. representative and senators to do just that.

If you have not already done so, read The New American magazine’s recent Special Report about an Article V Constitutional ConventionWe encourage you to obtain bulk copies of this issue and to mail them to your U.S. representative, senators, and their legislative aids and staff. Physical print copies of the TNA special report are available from ShopJBS.org. Articles from that issue can also be found on TheNewAmerican.com.

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