Friday, December 10, 2010

No Constitutional Convention -- Please!

This writer has received around two dozen E-mails claiming that if we could only get one Representative and one Senator to introduce a term limits bill, term limits would become a reality.

There have been a similar number of E-mails asking for the reader to support a Constitutional Convention to set term limits. The theory here is that you can bypass Congress because the states can call for a Constitutional Convention.

In the first case, calling on Congress to enact term limits – Congress (in either House) is NOT going to place term limits on themselves. And by the way, at least once every two years, a Representative and a Senator introduce a term limits bill in both houses. Usually, these bills don’t find any cosponsors. There is absolutely no hope for term limits via the Congressional route! Unless -- (See Item 5 of What the "new" House should do)

Now let’s address a Constitutional Convention being called by the states. The Constitution states that --

Article V - “The Congress, whenever two thirds of both Houses shall deem it necessary, shall propose Amendments to this Constitution, or, on the Application of the Legislatures of two thirds of the several States, shall call a Convention for proposing Amendments, which, in either Case, shall be valid to all Intents and Purposes, as part of this Constitution, when ratified by the Legislatures of three fourths of the several States, or by Conventions in three fourths thereof, as the one or the other Mode of Ratification may be proposed by the Congress; Provided that no Amendment which may be made prior to the Year One thousand eight hundred and eight shall in any Manner affect the first and fourth Clauses in the Ninth Section of the first Article; and that no State, without its Consent, shall be deprived of its equal Suffrage in the Senate.”

Therefore, Thirty Four (34) states can call for and open a Constitutional Convention.

But does anyone really want to do that?

The fact is that once you open that convention, you have opened the entire constitution to change or even complete replacement. Do you want to run that risk?

The odds are over whelming that we will end up with something far worse than we now have.

The real problem with the current constitution is that neither Congress, nor the Courts, and certainly not the current President pay any attention to the document.

So how do we fix the problem? The founding fathers gave us the ballot box for this purpose. We the people have the responsibility to exercise due diligence when we elect people to office. We have failed in that responsibility!

This is what the “Tea Party” is all about—the election of men and women that have pledged to pass legislation that is compliant with the Constitution and to rein in spending. The “Tea Party“succeeded in this past election by helping large numbers of Conservatives elected in the House significant numbers in the Senate. The question, that remains to be answered, is did we start to reclaim our government at too late a date? 2012 will tell us!

The “new” House of Representatives should do the following:

1. Pass a bill that would require that all of the elected Congressman take a 10% pay cut and repeal ALL scheduled automatic pay raises.

2. Pass a bill to limit the number of Czars appointed by the President, without Congressional vetting, to 5 and to limit the maximum salary of each non vetted Czar to ¾ that of the Secretary of State.

3. Pass a bill banning ALL earmarks.

4. Pass a bill that makes the “Bush Tax cuts” permanent—across the board.

5. Propose a Constitutional Amendment that would set term limits. This bill should “Grandfather” ALL current members of Congress until they retire, die, or loose in a reelection bid. As a maximum, no one (Grandfather exception) should exceed 12 years in an office. The retirement packages for all future members of Congress should be made to comply with those plans offered by industry to middle management.

If the Senate fails to pass and forward these bills to the President, they should be recycled every month until the public knows where every member of Congress stands on these issues.

Comments are invited!
Send feedback to:  WatchDog


Charles said...

No to the idea of a Constitutional Convention. Once the delegation of writers enter into session our Constitution is gone, fini meaning we have no protections. I agree it sometimes Congress operates outside the Constitution, to which I agree. But we can recover and we must. As to term limits, we have them it is called voting. If one does not vote, one should not complain.

SAra B said...


History has shown us that voters are not good at regulating who represents them.

Robert Byrd for example was not a good Senator for West Virginia interests. He kept getting reelected because he threw a lot of PORK around.

A do not favor encouraging voters to vote just to have them vote!
I only want voters who care enough to learn the facts.

We got Obama because of misinformed and feeling voters. Do you need more proof?

Very good article-Thanks Dog

Fred E said...

This government is becoming very tyrannical!

One f the main reasons for the 2nd Amendment was to protect ourselves from tyranny!

I recommend that Congress and Obama keep that in mind!

JDW said...

Say NO! to a convention.

Great idea on term and retirement limits