Daily Dispatches
David Long
Associated Press/Photo by Darron Cummings
David Long

Does reining in the federal debt require a constitutional convention?


The second of three meetings concerning a possible convention to amend the U.S. Constitution will take place today and Friday at the Indiana statehouse. The Mount Vernon Assembly is one of the groups hoping to invoke Article V to hold a convention of states and amend the Constitution to limit federal power, including the possibility of an amendment to require a balanced budget.

“This may be our best chance to control this tsunami of debt,” David Long, Indiana’s Senate president pro tempore, told the Indy Star. “The politics of Washington is so broken, we are not likely to find a resolution to the fiscal crisis that our federal government has created. Anything innovative these days comes from the states.”

Long is one of the key leaders of the movement to invoke the never-before used article, a proposal both unprecedented and steeped in skepticism. 

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Three legislators from each state can attend the meeting. During the discussion, Long said they hope to work out the convention’s structure, including rules and attendees. Long said he expects the final rules to be adopted in December. 

Wisconsin Rep. Chris Kapenga will be the meeting’s chairman. 

Article V of the U.S. Constitution allows states to hold a convention to propose amendments, bypassing Congress. A minimum of 34 states would need to meet and agree to call for the proposed amendment, which must then be ratified by three-fourths of the states. 

All previous amendments have taken the more traditional route, being approved by two-thirds of Congress and three-fourths of the states. 

The Mount Vernon Assembly isn’t alone in its attempt to make the convention happen. Michael Farris, founder of the Home School Legal Defense Association, and Mark Meckler, co-founder of the Tea Party Patriots launched their own organization calling for  a constitutional amendment convention to limit the power of the federal government last year.

Rachel Lynn Aldrich
Rachel Lynn Aldrich

Rachel is a World Journalism Institute graduate. Follow Rachel on Twitter @Rachel_Lynn_A.


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