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US Congressman: We need more than a Balanced Budget Amendment

Published in Blog on July 17, 2017 by Convention Of States Project

Most U.S. congresspeople can't stand the prospect of an Article V Convention of States. But some have decided to put their country before their own personal gain. Texas Rep. Louie Gohmert is one of those congressmen. He wrote the following letter for the Texas Convention of States team, and it was so good we wanted to share it with everyone.

My Dear Patriotic American Friends:

It is my distinct pleasure to welcome you to the East Texas Convention of States Town Hall. I thank you for attending tonight's event and wish to extend my appreciation to all those whose efforts have made this important event possible.

An Article V Convention of States is something I may have been the first to advocate for in a number of decades. Here is what I actually stated on the House floor in the Congressional record in the aftermath of ObamaCare's passage, on March 23,

"Dramatic times require dramatic actions. There's a part of the Constitution that hasn't been used since its inception: Article V, the part that says that 'on the application of the legislatures of two-thirds of the several States, Congress shall call a convention for proposing amendments.' Since the 17th Amendment took out the last check and balance on usurpation of States' rights, it's time to get the balance back in place. We have 39 States upset, wanting to do something, and not have another unfunded mandate coming down their throats. This will do it. Let's get an amendment that gets the balance back into the country and the Constitution before this Congress destroys what's left."

The federal government has overreached its constitutionally-established boundaries and has its hands in almost every area of our lives. Our children and grandchildren will inherit a bankrupt nation run by an unaccountable bureaucracy. Basically, we have two possible directions to choose. One is a path that leads to ever-escalating, unaccountable, bureaucratic power of an irresponsible centralized government. The other is a road to restoration of liberty, leaving trust and power in the people of the States for all matters not specifically "delegated" to the federal government within the confines of the Constitution. By calling a convention of states, we can stop the federal spending and debt spree, the power grabs of the federal courts, and other misuses of power usurped by the federal government. Our climate in Washington is exactly what the framers feared might arise, and is exactly why the framers gave us the blessing of Article V.

Let me be clear, great Americans whom I hold in high esteem have expressed grave concerns over a run-away convention. I believe if a state limits the issues upon which its delegates are authorized to attend, then that state may not be bound by unauthorized actions, limiting the ability to have a feared run􀂷away convention. A Convention of States could ensure, for example, a balanced budget amendment is enacted. On this issue, please allow me to warn that during my time in Congress, it has become abundantly clear that it is easier to raise fees, penalties, or even taxes, than it is to make actual cuts. Because of this, if we have a Balanced Budget Amendment without a restraint on spending, the BBA will be used as an excuse to raise taxes, fees, or penalties because "we have no choice under the BBA." It will be heard over and over until spending and taxes spiral so high they destroy our nation.

We must redefine the General Welfare clause and the Commerce Clause. We must limit the use of Executive orders and federal regulations to enact laws because only Congress has the authority to enact laws. We must reduce the burden of tax on hard-working, tax-paying Americans. For these reasons, and so many more, we must hold a Convention of States and enact Article V-as the framers would have wanted.

Click here to download a PDF of Rep. Gohmert's letter on his official congressional letterhead.


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