Policy Tip Sheet: Constitutional Reform

Published June 17, 2015


America is facing a crisis on multiple fronts: $18 trillion national debt, less health care freedom, and crippling federal regulations. The inability of members of Congress to solve this crisis has stifled economic growth in our country and threatens basic American liberties. The American people have lost faith in the ability of Congress to restore order. A May 2015 poll conducted by CBS News and the New York Times finds that only 12 percent approve of the job performance of Congress.

Policy Solution

State legislatures across the nation are introducing various constitutional reform measures aimed at solving problems Congress is failing to address.

Over 200 bills for nullifying federal power have been filed by state legislatures across the nation during the 2015-2016 session. 56 bills calling for an Article V convention for the purpose of enacting a federal balanced budget amendment were also filed.

The states of Alaska, Georgia, Mississippi, and North Dakota have passed the Compact for a Balanced Budget. The measure would call for a Article V convention to balance the federal budget in addition to a interstate compact agreement to simplify the procedures for calling a convention.

27 states have also passed single-subject applications for a Article V convention calling for a balanced federal budget. North Dakota became the latest state to pass a single-subject application in 2015.

26 states have filed legislation to form a compact commission to suspend the regulations of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act of 2009. Legislatures in Georgia, Indiana, Missouri, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Texas, and Utah have already enacted the agreement.

Policy Message

Point 1: Constitutional reform is necessary to restore checks and balances to the federal government.

Point 2: Constitutional reform is possible without putting cherished freedoms at risk from a “runaway convention.”

Point 3: States should have the right to say no to burdensome federal regulations that affect economic activity.

Point 4: The country is asking their state legislators to rein in the power of the federal government.

Point 5: States should work collaboratively with one another to form interstate compact agreements to check the unintended consequences of the Affordable Care Act.


1. CBS News-New York Times Poll, https://s3.amazonaws.com/s3.documentcloud.org/documents/2072940/poll.pdf

2. The Hill, http://www.thehill.com/regulation/legislation/232255-states-rising-up-against-washington

3. Newsmax-27 States Eye Constitutional Convention on the Balanced Budget, http://www.newsmax.com/Politics/US-Constitution-Article-V-conservatives-balanced-budget/2015/04/06/id/636609

4. NCSL-State Health Care Compacts, – http://www.ncsl.org/research/health/states-pursue-health-care-compacts.aspx