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AUSTIN (CBSDFW.COM) – Texas Governor Greg Abbott delivered his State Of The State speech today in Austin and among his priorities for the 85th legislative session was passing a resolution calling for a Convention of States.
He declared action on the resolution an “Emergency Item” for the legislature.
“For decades now the federal government has grown out of control, it has increasingly abandoned the constitution; it has stiff-armed the states; and ignored its very own citizens,” said Abbott.
“Now this isn’t a problem caused by just one president and it’s not a problem that can be solved by one president. It must be fixed by the people themselves,” Abbott continued to a standing ovation. “That is why we need a Convention of States – authorized in the constitution – to propose amendments to fix America.”
Successfully assembling a Convention of States would require approval from 34 states. Over the past four decades, more than two dozen states have endorsed the idea at one time or another.
Stating he wrote a book on the subject [“Broken But Unbowed”], Abbott continued, “More importantly there are literally – literally – hundreds of thousands of Texans who are motivated by this.”
In laying out the amendments that he would like to see enacted, Abbott said, “The proposed amendments would include things like term limits; restoring the Tenth Amendment; an amendment that reigns in the government regulations; and yes… it includes a balanced budget amendment.”
Abbott addressed what he believes is federal government over-reach into state politics. “We should demand that the federal government do two things. One, is to fulfill important but limited responsibilities as specifically defined in the constitution. And two, on everything else, leave us alone and let Texas govern Texas.”
Abbott continued addressing the chamber and mentioning Granbury Senator Brian Birdwell-R and Weatherford Representative Phil King-R by name, “You know as well as I do that the future of America cannot wait for tomorrow so I am declaring this an Emergency Item today.”
Abbot originally called for a Convention of States back in 2016 saying, “The increasingly frequent departures from Constitutional principles are destroying the Rule of Law foundation on which this country was built.”
Governor Abbott’s 91-page Texas Plan published last year specifically calls for nine constitutional Amendments to limit the power of the federal government:
1. Prohibit Congress from regulating activity that occurs wholly within one State.
2. Require Congress to balance its budget.
3. Prohibit administrative agencies—and the unelected bureaucrats that staff them—from creating federal law.
4. Prohibit administrative agencies—and the unelected bureaucrats that staff them—from preempting state law.
5. Allow a two-thirds majority of the States to override a U.S. Supreme Court decision.
6. Require a seven-justice super-majority vote for U.S. Supreme Court decisions that invalidate a democratically enacted law.
7. Restore the balance of power between the federal and state governments by limiting the former to the powers expressly delegated to it in the Constitution.
8. Give state officials the power to sue in federal court when federal officials overstep their bounds.
9. Allow a two-thirds majority of the States to override a federal law or regulation.
The Governor named three other items as “Emergency Items” in his address including: reforming Child Protective Services, banning sanctuary cities and implementing meaningful ethics reforms.
Article V Of The United States Constitution:
The Congress, whenever two thirds of both houses shall deem it necessary, shall propose amendments to this Constitution, or, on the application of the legislatures of two thirds of the several states, shall call a convention for proposing amendments, which, in either case, shall be valid to all intents and purposes, as part of this Constitution, when ratified by the legislatures of three fourths of the several states, or by conventions in three fourths thereof, as the one or the other mode of ratification may be proposed by the Congress; provided that no amendment which may be made prior to the year one thousand eight hundred and eight shall in any manner affect the first and fourth clauses in the ninth section of the first article; and that no state, without its consent, shall be deprived of its equal suffrage in the Senate.
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