House joins Senate in passing constitutional convention measure

By ED STERLING

The Texas House of Representatives on May 4 approved Senate Joint Resolution 2, a measure calling for a convention of the states, as contemplated and enabled by Article V of the U.S. Constitution. The state Senate on Feb. 28 originally passed SJR 2, authored by Brian Birdwell, R-Granbury. Every member of the House and Senate who signed as a co-author or co-sponsor of SJR 2 is Republican, and no Democrat voted in favor of the resolution.

Last week, after the House approved an amended version of the joint resolution, Governor Greg Abbott said: “Today marks an important step toward restraining a runaway federal government and returning power back to the states and their respective citizens as our Founders intended.” In his Jan. 31 State of the State address, Abbott listed passage of such a measure as one of his emergency legislative priorities. Next, the Senate must accept the House’s version of SJR 2 or call a conference committee to iron out differences.

If finally agreed upon, the measure would be forwarded to Vice President Mike Pence, who presides over the U.S. Senate, and to U.S. House Speaker Paul Ryan. Should SJR 2 pass here, the Lone Star State would join 10 other states that have done likewise: Alabama, Alaska, Georgia, Indiana, Louisiana, North Dakota, Oklahoma and Tennessee. The legislatures of two-thirds of the 50 states — that would be 34 states — must join in the call for a constitutional convention in order to convene under Article V. The stated purpose of convening would be to propose amendments to the U.S. Constitution that would: - Impose fiscal restraints on the federal government; - Limit federal government jurisdiction and power; and - Impose term limits on federal officials and members of Congress.

 

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