Oklahoma Lawmakers Call for an Article V Convention

Published June 8, 2016

Oklahoma lawmakers approved a resolution calling for a national convention to draft and enact a balanced budget amendment and other restraints on the federal government.

The joint resolution, filed with the Oklahoma Secretary of State in late April, calls on Congress to convene an amendments convention to draft proposed amendments to the U.S. Constitution “related to balancing the federal budget, imposing fiscal restraints on the federal government, limiting the power and jurisdiction of the federal government and limiting the terms of office for its officials and for members of Congress.”

Oklahoma is the 28th state to call on Congress to convene an amendments convention. Article V of the U.S. Constitution requires Congress to convene such a convention if two-thirds of the states’ legislatures (currently 34) authorize a convention.

Long Road to Reform

Loren Enns, director of state campaigns for the Balanced Budget Amendment Task Force, says enacting a national balanced budget amendment is do-or-die for the United States.

“If this doesn’t get done, we’re done,” Enns said. “You can only go so long printing currency. We’ve seen country after country do that and subsequently have their economy collapse. So, for me, it’s a matter of the survival of the republic.”

Taking Charge

State Sen. Rob Standridge (R-Norman), who sponsored the resolution, says it’s time for state lawmakers to fight back against an ever-expanding federal government.

“You can look at fiscal issues, social issues, … all these things where the federal government is ruling down from on high, unlike anything that was ever intended, … and the states are bowing down and saying, ‘Yes, Master,'” Standridge said. “We need to do the prudent, constitutional thing and correct the errors that our Congress and the Supreme Court have entered into the Constitution. Their interpretation has changed the Constitution. We must shore it up as states. That’s my mission.”

‘No Way’ Feds Can Fix System

Standridge says the government in Washington, DC needs help only state lawmakers can provide.

“I think the debt is climbing so exponentially fast that there’s just no way the federal government is going to get a handle on it themselves,” Standridge said. “I think they need cover or help from the states to help get a handle on this spiraling debt.”

Jeff Reynolds ([email protected]) writes from Portland, Oregon.