Virginia House Approves Resolution Calling for Article V Convention

Published April 22, 2016

Virginia lawmakers are considering a resolution calling for Congress to convene a national convention for the purpose of drafting an amendment to the U.S. Constitution and authorizing the state to participate.

In February, the Virginia House of Delegates approved House Joint Resolution 3, which calls for Congress to convene a convention of the states to propose a constitutional amendment to “impose fiscal restraints on the federal government, limit the power and jurisdiction of the federal government, and limit the terms of office.”

The resolution was assigned to the Virginia Senate’s Rules Committee in March for consideration during the 2017 legislative session.

‘Back to the Basics’

Michael Farris, co-founder of Convention of States and a senior fellow for Citizens for Self-Governance, says the country must return to the principles on which it was founded.

“We desperately need to reverse decades and decades of constitutional ‘interpretations’ by the Supreme Court, the Congress, and the president that have effectively erased the original constitutional limitations on federal power,” Farris said. “We need to go back to the basics of the Constitution.”

‘Immoral’ Spending

Farris says reining in federal spending by forcing the government to live within its means is an issue of morality, as well as fiscal responsibility.

“It is immoral for the federal government to continue spending the money of future generations of Americans, who have no say in the matter,” Farris said. “We are bankrupting our grandchildren and their children. The only way to truly solve the problem is to limit Congress’ power to spend money.”

Up to the Task

State Del. Scott Lingamfelter (R-Woodbridge), who introduced the successful resolution in the House of Delegates, told Budget & Tax News it’s time for the states to step up and do what federal lawmakers have been unable to do.

“The Constitution has been torn asunder by bad case law, inactivity in Congress, and overreach by the executive [branch],” Lingamfelter said. “The Founders wrote Article V and provided for state initiative amendments because they feared federal overreach. They wanted to provide to the states [a way] to propose amendments to the Constitution in the event that the federal government developed so much power that it deprived the states of their prerogatives as guaranteed by the Constitution.”

Fighting for the Future

Lingamfelter says he’s fighting to improve the country for future generations.

“Fifteen years from now, when my grandson sits on my lap and says, ‘Granddad, what did you do during the period of great constitutional disruption?’ What I’m going to say to him is, ‘I fought back,'” Lingamfelter said.

Ben Johnson ([email protected]) writes from Stockport, Ohio.