A cold, wintry mix did not deter nearly one hundred volunteers from making their voices heard at their Rally for the Republic on the snowy grounds of the Virginia capitol this morning.
Michael Farris, the co-founder of Convention of States Project, gave a stirring speech to the crowd on the same day that Virginia’s House Rules Committee would consider a resolution to call an Article V convention for the expressed purpose of placing new limits on the federal government. “George Mason said that someday we are going to reach a point where the government we are creating will abuse its authority, and when that day happens, we are going to need a process for structural changes to reign in on the abuse of powers,” said Farris, who also founded Patrick Henry College.
Many attendees of the event drove several hours, including Jon Stancik who is a District Captain for Convention of States Project in Louden County.
“I made the two hour drive with three other folks who are volunteers,” Stancik said in an interview with Red Millennial. “It was a great drive and a positive outcome.”
Stancik said that the weather hindered turnout for the event, but he was pleased, all things considered.
“The rally was very positive, energizing,” said Stancik. “Michael Farris is passionate about the project. He believes in what he’s doing. This is the logical, right way to address a runaway federal government.”
After the rally, the activists then entered the Virginia capitol to meet with their Delegates and Senators to encourage them to support the Convention of States resolution. Under Article V of the Constitution, states can call a convention for the purpose of proposing amendments to the Constitution if 34 states pass similar applications.
State legislators are most interested in a balanced budget amendment, congressional term limits, and limits on the power of the federal bureaucracy.
“People talk about the current administration, but the actions I’ve seen taken by the federal government for the past 15 to 20 years has been very disappointing,” Stancik told us. “Spending is out of control. Invasion of our privacy is out of control.”
Stancik sees the Convention of States Project as a tangible way to change Washington D.C.
“It’s one thing to have debates about it, and it’s another thing to do something about it and make a difference to make an impact,” he said.
The bill has 21 co-sponsors in the House and was introduced by Rep. Scott Lingamfelter, who issued a call to action in his address to the crowd of activists.
“We have to transition the discussion from being a people who complain to a people who take actions in accordance with the gifts our Founders have left us,” Lingamfelter said. “They understood this day would arrive, and it has arrived.” Volunteers also attended the Rules Committee’s hearing on the resolution in question, and it was passed by a 10-3 vote. The legislation will be scheduled for a vote in the House.
The Speaker of the House William J. Howell took to Twitter to voice his support for an Article V convention just prior to the Rules Committee’s vote.
The Rules Committee is meeting to consider resolutions calling for an Article V convention of the states. Proud to support these measures. — William J. Howell (@SpeakerHowell) January 27, 2015
“The federal debt has exploded to over $18 trillion, our long-term unfunded liabilities exceed $93 trillion and the federal government continues to overreach and exceed constitutionally-established limitations,” Howell said in a written statement. “A convention of the states will allow the people and the states to amend the Constitution to place real limits on federal power.”
The resolution is expected to be passed by the House, but it reportedly faces a more difficult road through the Senate.
Nevertheless, Stancik says that the momentum for the project has picked up significantly.
“There’s definitely more energy, more grassroots involvement.
“I ask people ‘Do you think the federal government is effective, or has it overstepped its bounds? What do you think we can do?’ The pat answer is we need to elect better individuals. But it seems once they get to DC, that power becomes an attractor. They say they’re going to do things, and then they go along to get along. There actually is a process that the Founding Father put in the Constitution. Here is an opportunity for us to take control without the involvement of Congress.”
Convention of States Project has drafted legislation for a convention that would be open to a package of amendments limited to a topic of constraining the federal government.
Despite launching just a year ago, their resolution has already been adopted by three states (Florida, Alaska, and Georgia). Within the past month, 13 states have pre-filed the resolution. Some 30 states are expected to consider the resolution sometime this year.
That momentum is largely due to the release of Mark Levin’s book The Liberty Amendments: Restoring the American Republic, which helped spark the grassroots movement. In another promising sign, conservative leaders are now rallying around the Article V movement. We at Red Millennial have added our own endorsement.
Check out our archives for more coverage of this exciting movement and stay tuned for breaking news.