February 1, 2014 Newsletter

Bad News: Republican Plans for a Constitutional Convention

S.R. 736. It was no coincidence when Representative Braddock introduced H.B. 794 January 23rd, the day before S.R. 736 passed its first committee hurdle. The two bills are Siamese twins. H.B. 794 is a plan to usher in and control an Article V convention that’s proposed by S.R. 736.

ACTION: Oppose S.R. 736. Call Rules Committee members. Senators Mullis, Ch., 404 656-0057; Tolleson, V. Ch., 656-0081; Jackson, Sec., 651-7738; Butler, 656-0075; Chance, 463-1366 Ex Officio; Gooch, 656-9221 Ex Officio; Henson, 656-0085; Hill, Jack, 656-5038; Hill, Judson, 636-0150; Millar, Fran; 463-2260; Miller, Butch, 656-6578 Ex Officio; Murphy, 656-7127; Shafer, 656-0048 Ex Officio; Staton, 656-5039 Ex Officio; Tate, 463-8053; Unterman, 463-1368.

H.B. 794 establishes a Compact Commission to encourage states to join the Compact and become “Member States” to cooperatively work toward a constitutional convention. If the General Assembly passes H.B. 794, it would amend Georgia law as OCGA Section 50-38-1.

The Compact Commission would serve as a “Compact for a Balanced Budget” – strange, with their push for the tri-focused S.R. 736 to (a) fiscally restrain the federal government, (b) limit federal power and jurisdiction, and (c) set term limits for federal officials, including Congress.Also strange is the dismissal of the more narrowly focused S.R. 731 that passed the Senate last session, but remains alive in the House. S.R. 731 would restrict the total federal appropriations to the total estimated federal revenues for each fiscal year.

Because S.R. 736 proposes three amendments without including a balanced budget amendment, equally strange is this contradictory statement in H.B. 794: “… in no event shall any proposed amendment other than the Balanced Budget Amendment be transmitted.”

The Compact authorizes itself to plan, oversee and control a constitutional convention, though Congress is the constitutional designee authorized to call a constitutional convention. Each Compact Member State would be entitled to three delegates – the Governor, Speaker of the House and President Pro Tem of the Senate or designees of each. Delegates must solemnly swear to “… act strictly with the terms and conditions of the Compact for a Balanced Budget, the Constitution of the State I represent, and the Constitution of the United States …[or forfeit] my appointment and … subject me to other penalties as provided by law.”

George Washington’s Mount Vernon home was where one senator and nine representatives from Georgia1 gathered with strategists who are working to create a Compact Commission and convene a constitutional convention. The 97 hand-picked legislators from 32 states met on Saturday, December 7, 2013, the anniversary of the attack on Pearl Harbor. Ironically, plans of the 97 might result in an unexpected, but devastating, attack on the Constitution of the United States. One senator and nine representatives from Georgia1 attended at their own expense.

ACTION – Oppose. Call House Judiciary Representatives Willard, Ch., 404 656-5125; Fleming, V-Ch., 656-0152; Allison, Sec., 404 656-0188; Bruce, 656-0314; Caldwell, 656-0325; Evans, 656-6372; Golick, 656-5943; Jacobs, 656-5116; Jones, 656-7859; Kelley, 656-0287; Lindsey, 656-5024; Mabra, 656-7859; Oliver, 656-0265; O’Neal, 656-5052; Powell, 656-7855; Rutledge, 656-0109; Stephenson, 656-0126; Welch, 656-0109; Weldon, 656-0213;and Wilkinson, 463-8143.
1 Georgia attendees: Senator Bill Cowsert, Representatives Stephen Allison, Timothy Barr, Buzz Brockway, Josh Clark, Kevin Cooke, Delvis Dutton, Jason Spencer, Andy Welch, and Bruce Williamson

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