For Immediate Release
October 17, 2016
House Majority Communications Coordinator
Utah House of Representatives
House of Members Participate in First Convention of States Simulation
Working to protect liberties and restore checks and balances of government
SALT LAKE CITY – Recently, representatives from every state across the country met together in Colonial Williamsburg, Virginia to hold a Convention of States simulation. Reps. Kim Coleman, Ken Ivory and Merrill Nelson represented Utah.
Many people on both sides of the political aisle are beginning to realize that the balance of power between state and federal government has become nearly nonexistent. Over time, the rights of the states have been so seriously eroded that states are today, for all intents and purposes, wholly subservient subdivisions of the federal government.
The framers ensured that tools were available that would allow the states to take action to preserve or restore sovereignty. One of the solutions is included in Article V and says if 2/3 of the states petition for a convention to propose amendments on the same subject, Congress must call a convention. The purpose of a convention in this context would be to amend the constitution in such a way as to correct the federal overreach that has brought us to this point. This simulation was meant to show how the process could potentially operate.
Rep. Ivory was elected to serve as president of the Convention.
“Utah can be proud of the work that was done by this nationwide assembly of state representatives to signal the path forward in restoring vitality to our ingenious governing system that requires constitutional balance between the states and the national government,” said Rep. Ivory. “Representatives closest to the people can exercise their constitutional power in a manner that will more fully secure the blessings of liberty not only for us but for generations to come.”
During the Convention, many amendments were proposed and six passed, all which have the intent of checking the power of the federal government and returning states to their proper role within our republic.
Rep. Nelson drafted and sponsored the proposed amendment that authorizes states to override a federal law.
“The federal government has expanded its authority far beyond its delegated powers in the Constitution,” said Rep. Nelson. “Our Founders provided a remedy in Article V to preserve our ‘government by the people’ and now is the time to use that remedy.”
The ratified amendments consisted of:
- Requiring a super majority vote of Congress to approve any increase in the national debt.
- Requiring a super majority vote of Congress to increase federal taxes and a repeal the 16th Amendment.
- Limiting federal overreach by returning the Commerce Clause to its original meaning.
- Limiting the power of federal regulations by providing a simple congressional override.
- Giving the states the power to overrule any federal law, regulation or executive order by a 3/5 vote.
- Imposing term limits on Congress.
Videos of the Convention:
Full video of the deliberations: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vqqOVV4oRqI
Opening remarks: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6cPM2vwtd5E
Closing remarks: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SW7Fd4EiI7w
Additional resources about the Convention of States can be found at conventionofstates.com