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NC Senate to consider Convention of States resolution as supporters rally at legislature

BRIANNA KRAEMER

Carolina Journal


Hundreds of Convention of States proponents gathered outside the legislative buildings on Wednesday advocating for North Carolina to become the next state to call for a convention of the states to address issues within the federal government. 


Activists with the group Convention of States Action filled the lawn outside the legislative buildings to rally around a constitutional solution given to the states to rein in the federal government’s power.


In attendance were Convention of State Action co-founders Mark Meckler and Michael Farris, along with former US Senator Rick Santorum. The three leaders spoke to the crowd and encouraged the grassroots to continue fighting to get the resolution over the finish line in the North Carolina General Assembly.


Article V of the Constitution gives both the US Congress and the states the power to propose amendments to the Constitution. For the states to convene and suggest amendments, 34 state legislatures must first pass an application approving a convention. Currently, 19 states have passed a resolution calling for amendments surrounding term limits, fiscal restraints, and limits to the size and jurisdiction of the federal government. 


All eyes are on North Carolina as the state could become the 20th to push for a Convention. The North Carolina House passed House Joint Resolution 235 in 2023, and officials say the Senate is prepared to move forward with the resolution any day now. The resolution states the convention is “limited to proposing amendments to the United States Constitution that impose fiscal restraints on the federal government, limit the power and jurisdiction of the federal government, and limit the terms of office for its officials and for members of Congress.”


The state’s legislative sponsors, Rep. Dennis Riddell, R-Alamace, and Sen. Tim Moffitt, R-Henderson, also took the stage. The two urged in a Carolina Journal op-ed this week that “We have to act before the self-destructive behavior of the federal government takes everything down with it.”


“We’re very close to being able to caucus this effort within the Senate Majority Caucus,” Moffitt told the crowd. “We’re probably, I would say, days if not just a couple weeks away to where this will be the subject that we debate within our ranks to determine its next steps. And that’s about as much as I can tell you at this point.”


Also in attendance was the Liberty Llama, which was a draw for many members, staffers, and individuals walking throughout the capitol complex.


As someone well-versed in federal politics, former US Sen. Rick Santorum said the movement is about using the power given to us as the states to control Washington, DC.


“There’s no Kryptonite in America, but if there was, we’d be the closest thing to the Superman that’s reining in Washington, DC,” Santorum said of the movement. “I believe in elections and elections are important, but to change Washington, DC is going to take more than an election.” 


The Convention of States resolution already passed the North Carolina Senate once in 2017, but the House never approved it during the session, resetting the legislative approval process. When 34 states trigger an Article V convention, a Convention of States would take place without the influence of Washington politicians. Delegates would represent each state, and all discussions would be required to adhere to the pre-approved subjects. 

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