New reports have revealed that Obama’s worst nightmare may be coming true: a constitutional convention may convene to add a federal balanced budget amendment to the constitution.
This would be a huge move, since a constitutional convention has not met since the original proceedings were held in 1787. However, since Republicans are in control of more than half of the state legislatures across the country, another convention could be right around the corner.
“Everywhere I’d go at town hall meetings, people would say, `What are we going to do? There’s no hope. How do we fix our country?’ And the fact is, this gives great hope,” said former U.S. Sen. Tom Coburn of Oklahoma, according to the Associated Press.
Calling a constitutional convention would require the approval of 34 states: the Republicans currently have control of 30 states.
“There’s definitely people who are very serious about it,” said Michael Leachman, director of state fiscal research at the Washington-based nonprofit Center on Budget and Policy Priorities. “We’re seeing these resolutions get debated in state legislatures around a decent portion of the country.”
In the past forty years, 27 states have endorsed a constitutional convention at one time or another. While 34 states coming together for one right now is a long shot, Obama’s approval ratings are at a low, so anything is possible. The threat of a convention is bad enough that congress is certainly taking notice.
“Whether it’s the Convention of States, or the compact or the balanced budget amendment, when they get close, Congress is going to be looking over its shoulder,” said Pat Carlson of the conservative Texas Eagle Forum. “They’ll say, ‘We’d better get this done or we’re going to lose some of our power.'”
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