Senators Want to Change US Constitution

Charleston Daily Mail - Members of the Senate Interstate Cooperation Committee heard on Wednesday why they should, or shouldn't, support a resolution calling for a constitutional convention. Read

Senate Concurrent Resolution 21, introduced earlier this month, urges Congress to call a convention of the states to propose amendments to the U.S. Constitution that impose fiscal restraint, limits on federal jurisdiction and term limits on members of Congress. The Interstate Cooperation Committee took up the resolution for the first time Wednesday.

Michael Farris, chancellor of Patrick Henry College and constitutional law professor, said the true national debt totals more than $100 trillion. A balanced budget amendment would reign in government spending.

"The ability of our government to pay that back when we're accumulation the on-the-books national debt is $1 trillion per year, but the off-the-books national debt is about $4 trillion per year," Farris told the committee. "We can't let the federal government keep going in that fashion."

Ted Boettner, executive director of the West Virginia Center on Budget and Policy, is against the resolution. A constitutional convention is a scary proposition, he said.

"While the intentions of getting our fiscal house in order is something we can all support, calling a convention is a scary process and something we know very, very little about," Boettner said. "We haven't had a convention since 1787."


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