The Texas State Senate has approved a key goal of both Gov. Greg Abbott and of the conservatives who dominate the Legislature, approving an 'Article 5 Call' to convene a Convention of States to come up with new amendments to the U.S. Constitution, News Radio 1200 WOAI reports.
"Federal fiscal restraints, checks on the power of the federal government, and enacting term limits on Congress," said State Sen. Brian Birdwell (R-Granbury), who is the prime sponsor of the proposal.
"The only way we will save this republic and return ourselves to federalism is to have the states taking control."
But Democrats did not support the resolution.
"The delicate balance that was instituted by the founders is a delicate balance that has served us well," said State Sen. Jose Rodriguez (D-El Paso).
Abbott praised the vote.
“For decades, the federal government has grown out of control, increasingly abandoning the Constitution while stiff-arming the states and ignoring its citizens. This isn’t a problem caused by one President and it won’t be solved by one President – it must be fixed by the people themselves," he said.
It would take the affirmative votes of 39 state Legislatures to call the convention, and any amendments approved by it would have to be okayed by three quarters of the states.
Some conservatives are not excited about the idea of a Convention of States. They are afraid that the result would be the elimination or the weakening of the Second Amendment, and major restrictions on freedom of speech and other First Amendment guarantees.
The Convention of States is never expected to happen. Several states which had approved participating in it have since rescinded their approval.
By the way, it's called an 'Article 5 Call' because that is the article in the current Constitution that allows the states to call for a convention to approve new amendments, a process which has only been used previously by the Congress.