Louisiana House committee shoots down attempt to call constitutional convention to shrink federal government

Louisiana House committee shoots down attempt to call constitutional convention to shrink federal government

By Emily Lane – Via NOLA.com-
At-a-Glance: A House resolution to call a constitutional convention of the states, which is allowed under Article V of the U.S. Constitution, failed to get the support of the Louisiana House and Governmental Affairs Committee after impassioned testimony from both sides. The proposed resolution apparently mirrors those either being floated or already passed in as many as 38 other states as part of a conservative movement to accomplish three things: limit the size of the federal government; impose fiscal constraints on federal spending; and enact term limits for federal public officials, including members of Congress.

The bill: House Concurrent Resolution 15, sponsored by Ray Garofalo, R-Chalmette, would allow Louisiana to call and send delegates to a constitutional convention of the states. If two-thirds, or 34, of the states pass a resolution to convene, the states could host a convention, or, more likely, Congress would intervene and host it. Three-fourths of the states would be required to ratify the Constitution.

The debate: Garofalo said he would not have presented the resolution unless he knew the scope of the constitutional convention wouldn’t be “a runaway convention” and could be confined to the three specific issues he mentioned regarding limiting of the federal government’s size, curbing spending and adding term limits. But Louisiana Budget Project Policy Analyst Steve Spires said the unintended consequences of opening up the opportunity to alter the constitution could damage the political system and economy. Rep. Micahel Danahay, D-Sulphur, said he would consider supporting the resolution had the impetus originated in Louisiana but was reluctant to back a national, conservative movement to do so.

The voice: “There’s no way to effectively limit or muzzle actions of a constitutional convention.” – Former Chief Supreme Court Justice Warren Burger, as quoted by Spires.

“This is not what our founders intended,” Garofalo said of current federal government operations. “This is not what we want.”

The vote: Danahay moved to involuntarily defer the bill, and no members objected.


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  1. Reblogged this on Brittius.com.

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