Fed up with an overreaching federal government that overspends, over-regulates, and overtaxes, nearly one hundred state legislators from 32 states met at Washington’s home in Mount Vernon, Virginia, Saturday to discuss an Article V convention of the states for the purpose of proposing amendments to the Constitution.
Many of the delegates took to Twitter and Facebook, expressing their sentiments on this historic gathering.
“I think this was a good start,” writes State Senator Marv Hagedorn of Idaho. “We had 97 very well meaning and sharp legislators from 32 states who are focused on getting a good set of rules in place for when/if an Article V or State called Convention ever occurs.”
Many legislators attended as steadfast proponents of an Article V Convention.
“We are in a state of crisis right now,” said South Dakota State Senator David Omdahl. “With the nuclear option that went on in the Senate, the leadership happening with our President, this debt is out of control. We must somehow rein it in.”
“Many are here because they see a myriad of problems coming out of Washington,” writes State Senator Dan Lederman of South Dakota. “Some are here because of the intrusion of Obamacare into our lives and businesses. Some are seeking a renewed look at federal term limits and campaign finance reform.”
Although the meeting focused mostly on the rules and means of a future convention, and not so much specific amendments, several legislators have clearly stated what type of amendments they want to pursue.
“I would like to see an amendment to the constitution for a balanced budget, and to force the Congress to stop mortgaging our children’s future,” Senator Lederman writes. “It’s obvious that congress will never limit itself on spending. And let’s not kid ourselves on whether or not Congress will ever pass term limits.”
Several state legislators were given the chance to speak, and many cited the need for God’s guidance.
It was in that spirit that the assembly opened and closed proceedings in prayer.
“There were a few dominating issues, and the room was filled with brilliant and careful minds,” wrote State Representative Kelly Townsend of Arizona. “Most important seemed to be preventing rogue delegates from causing a runaway convention, and possibly equally important to the group was making sure that it was a bi-partisan effort.”
Although an official meeting to establish rules for a convention has been tentatively set for next December, there was some initial discussion of the type of rules that need to be established.
The overall vibe of the meeting seems to be that it was successful, and that there is significant support for such a convention.
“Overall, it was historic,” said Arkansas State Senator Jason Rapert. “I think it is a beacon for the rest of this nation to know the state legislators, of which there are 7,383 of us, are standing together to tell the 535 in Washington, ‘You are no longer doing your job. You haven’t passed a budget in a number of years. You allow the President to step outside of his executive authority and are not holding him accountable. You’re drowning the nation in debt, and we want it to stop.’”
“I think it went well,” said Georgia State Rep. Buzz Brockway. “I think the organizers have been very cautious in pursuing this action. Folks have to understand, while we’re pursuing a path that’s in the Constitution, it hasn’t been utilized.”
However, Nate Bell in particular revealed that there may have been some tension in the room over utilizing the Compact for America method, which could potentially streamline and focus the Article V process. Bell also spoke out on his Facebook page to reiterate his support for CFA.
It seems that several legislators expressed support for Compact for America, while others remained skeptical.
Bell also cited the need to maintain communication between the legislators as this movement progresses.
Perhaps the most encouraging part of the assembly is that these type of inter-state connections did occur.
At least one legislator pointed to author Mark Levin and his book The Liberty Amendments for the day’s achievement.
“Much of this meeting’s success owes itself to a book by Mark Levin,” wrote Senator Lederman.
In order to snuff out any concerns of a runaway convention, the legislators are planning to establish strict rules on the topics of a convention, as well as keeping the process transparent.
“Many of us have been very concerned about the ‘run-away’ convention, so we decided that the only way to properly have any convention was to do it in a way where the process would be fair, transparent and controlled,” writes Hagedorn.
Funding such a convention was also a topic of discussion.
“The recommendation is that the money would come from the states, but individuals would be able to contribute up to a limit of $100,” said Arkansas State Representative Randy Alexander. “We do not want this to be sponsored by some organization.”
Representative Townsend agreed with this assessment. “Another salient issue was that this process should be transparent, and free from any corporate or special interest influence. This is an effort by the people, and needs to remain as such.
Although the Mount Vernon Assembly represented a good start, clearly there is still much work to be done.
“There are a lot of unanswered questions,” said Brockway. “How do you organize it? What do you when you actually get there, and if you get that far, how do you get other states involved?”
Follow-up meetings have been set for May and next December.
“The thumbnail plan is to get members assigned from all 50 state legislatures to attend a meeting in May (tentative) to get some committees assigned to focus on various rules needed to run an operation of such,” wrote Hagedorn.
“You can all rest assured that I will continue to follow this and keep my promise to fight for your freedoms,” writes Townsend. “This may, or may not, be the answer. However, I would rather put my head down on my pillow at night knowing I tried but failed, but I cannot put my head down knowing I did nothing at all.”
Although difficult, an Article V Convention is not impossible. Three states have already pre-filed bills for a convention of this kind.
Scroll down to view more tweets from attending delegates.