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Tennessee committee passes Convention of States resolution

Another state committee has passed the Convention of States resolution! 

The Columbia Daily Herald reports:

Legislation calling for a constitutional convention of states, sponsored by Rep. Sheila Butt, R-Columbia, passed Tuesday in the State Government Committee.

“We live in a state with the lowest-per-capita debt in the nation… and in the meantime the federal government’s debt is skyrocketing,” Butt said. “At some point, this has to stop.”

Butt’s bill is part of a national movement promoted by activist group Citizens for Self-Governance.

The committee voted to the pass the bill to the full House, with five “yes” votes and three “no” votes. The bill will be scheduled for discussion within the year.

According to Article 5 of the Constitution, amendments can be made by either Congress or a convention of states. For a convention to be held, at least 34 states must pass legislation requesting one, and all 34 must ask for the same topics to be discussed.

Thirty-eight states need to ratify proposed amendments before they are added to the Constitution. The entire process, in theory, would take place outside of Congress’ influence. Despite many attempts n the past, a convention has never successfully been called.

Butt’s resolution, which passed last year in the Tennessee Senate, requests a convention to discuss amendments concerning national fiscal restraints, limiting the federal government’s power and term limits for federal officials and Congress members.

In Tennessee, the bill was sponsored by Sen. Mike Bell, R-Riceville. Bell said he has supported the idea for three years.

He and Butt attended a meeting about the idea in 2013. “The federal government regularly ignores the states… and this is a way for the states to start pushing back against the federal government,” he said.

Bell said the current push to call a convention has a better chance of succeeding than previous attempts.

“What the current movement has is that it’s organized, concerted and nationwide,” he said.

This is a fantastic start for our team in Tennessee. The next step is the House floor, so if you live in the Volunteer State, we need you to contact your Tennessee representatives! A letter or phone call will go a long way towards ensuring the passage of our resolution and making Tennessee the fifth state to officially pass the Convention of States application.

Click here to contact your representatives.