Former U.S. Sen. Tom Coburn came to the state Capitol on a mission Monday.
Coburn, who left the Senate two years early and is fighting prostate cancer, wants legislators to approve a resolution to have Oklahoma participate with other states in a convention to amend the U.S. Constitution. An overly powerful federal government must be reined in, he said.
Coburn, R-Muskogee, has been a foremost proponent of amending the Constitution in this way.
State Sen. Rob Standridge, R-Norman, has authored a bill to put Oklahoma on record as wanting to participate in such a gathering.
His Senate Joint Resolution 4 says the convention would be limited to “proposing amendments to the U.S. Constitution that 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.”
At least 34 states would have to call for such a convention for it to occur and any proposed constitutional amendments would have to be ratified by 38 states.
Coburn said resolutions similar to the one filed in Oklahoma are being filed in 40 states.
“The aim is to restore the rightful role of the states in relation to the federal government,” Coburn said. “If you look at what has happened over the years, our rights, our power and our sovereignty has been diminished as the federal government has grown. That has limited our liberty and our opportunities.”