In an exclusive interview with USA Today this morning, former Senator Jim DeMint announced that he is joining the Convention of States Project. DeMint joins his former Senate colleague, Dr. Tom Coburn of Oklahoma, as a senior advisor to the organization. The Convention of States Project is making a push to get 34 states to apply for an Amendments Convention under Article V of the Constitution, with the purpose of amending the Constitution to include further limits on federal authority.
DeMint said that the time is right for an Article V Convention:
“The Tea Party needs a new mission,” DeMint told USA TODAY. “They realize that all the work they did in 2010 has not resulted in all the things they hoped for. Many of them are turning to Article V.”
DeMint and other proponents of a state-led convention say the timing is right. Populist anger with Washington helped sweep President Trump into office. At the state level, Republicans now dominate, controlling both legislative chambers in 32 states and governors’ mansions in 33. “This is a perfect time for us,” DeMint said. “People are disgusted with Washington. They are ready to move power back closer to home.”
DeMint’s move provides a shot in the arm for both the Tea Party movement as well as the Convention of States project. Between the Deep State, mixed signals coming from Congress on tax reform and health care, and a hostile media, the voters who elected Donald Trump to drain the swamp are increasingly coming to realize that the swamp cannot be drained, in many cases.
DeMint joins an already vibrant team that currently boasts close to 2.5 million supporters and 80,000 active volunteers around the country. In addition, Coburn’s new book, Smashing the DC Monopoly, has met with widespread critical acclaim. The publicity for the book, along with the addition of DeMint to the team, has increased the momentum of the movement to rein in the federal government using the tools made available to us in the Constitution itself by the Founding Fathers.
This addition to the team comes about a month after DeMint left The Heritage Foundation. Long known as a conservative and Tea Party hero, DeMint brings an uncompromising style and advances no-nonsense conservative solutions in public policy debates. The announcement comes at a time when more states have submitted formal applications for a Convention of States. In all, twelve states have applied and a handful more are debating bills before the end of their legislative sessions. Article V of the Constitution provides two methods of amending the Constitution — via Congress, or via the states. It requires two-third of the states, or 34 states, to apply for a convention, at which point it says, “Congress shall call a Convention for proposing Amendments.”
As USA Today reports, “The movement DeMint is joining asks for a convention covering three sweeping topics: imposing ‘fiscal restraint’ on Washington, reducing the federal government’s authority over states and imposing term limits on federal officials.”
At a simulated Convention of States conducted in September 2016, the following proposals were passed:
The Convention passed amendment proposals on the following six ideas:
1. The public debt shall not be increased except upon a recorded vote of two-thirds of each house of Congress.
2. Term limits on Congress
3. Limiting federal overreach by returning the Commerce Clause to its original meaning
4. Limiting the power of federal regulations by giving an easy congressional override
5. Require a super majority for federal taxes and repeal the 16th Amendment
6. Give the states (by a 3/5ths vote) the power to abrogate any federal law, regulation or executive order
The Convention of States aims to return power back to We The People and the states that created the federal government in the first place. Should these amendments be ratified, the balance of power would be stripped from a bloated and out of balance federal system of agencies, bureaucracies, and activist judges.
Editorial Note: Jeff Reynolds is a member of the state Convention of States Action group in Oregon.