AUSTIN—State Senator Brian Birdwell (R-Granbury) and State Representatives Phil King (R-Weatherford) and Rick Miller (R-Sugar Land) filed legislation Tuesday making Texas the eighth state to call for an Article V convention of states and defining the steps the state legislature would take to appoint delegates to such a convention.
House Joint Resolution 39 and Senate Joint Resolution 2 (Miller, Birdwell) formally call for a convention of states under Article V of the United States Constitution with a specific focus on imposing fiscal restraints on the federal government, limiting the power and jurisdiction of the federal government, and limiting the terms of office of federal officials and members of Congress. House Bill 506 and Senate Bill 21 (King, Birdwell)—commonly known as the “delegate responsibility bills”—specify the actions for which the legislature is responsible in the event of a convention of states, including the processes for appointing delegates to the convention and ensuring their fidelity to Texas citizens through the direction of the legislature.
Crafted in consideration of government potentially growing or acting outside the scope of its original authority, Article V, Section 2 of the Constitution provides the states with a mechanism to rein in the federal government. This can be done when two-thirds of the states (34 of 50) call for a convention to propose and consider necessary amendments to the Constitution. Any amendment would require ratification by three-fourths of all state legislatures or conventions (38 of 50) and could be defeated by a negative vote of as few as 13 states.
Miller, King and Birdwell shared remarks with grassroots supporters at a gathering after filing the bills and resolutions.
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“I am convinced that the Founders knew exactly what they were doing with the convention of states provision in Article V,” Miller said. “Simply put, the federal government is out of control and must be reined in—and many states are looking to Texas to lead on this issue.”
“The movement for an Article V convention is growing exponentially across the country, and Texas should not be left behind,” said King. “Now is the time for the legislature to establish a process for selecting its convention delegates, and I’m proud of the steps we are seeking to put in place.”
Birdwell said for years, too many in our deeply-entrenched federal government have willfully ignored the citizens they represent, essentially dissolving the Founders’ originally-intended balance of power.
“Washington’s refusal to uphold the Constitution and recognize the rights of the individual states is a failure that spans both political parties, and thus I believe it is incumbent upon the states to exercise their collective power through Article V,” said Birdwell.
The 85th Texas legislative session begins Tuesday, January 10, 2017. For more information on the legislative process or to review the identical resolutions (HJR 39, SJR 2) and bills (HB 506, SB 21), please visit http://www.legis.state.tx.us/.
▪ Representative Rick Miller is a decorated military veteran, having served in the United States Navy for thirty years. Miller was first elected to office in 2012 and currently serves on the House Appropriations Committee and the House Public Health Committee. He represents the communities of Sugar Land and part of Richmond in Texas House District 26.
▪ Representative Phil King is a principle-driven conservative, Colonel in the Texas State Guard, and proud husband and father to six children and twelve grandchildren. King currently serves as Chairman of the House Committee on State and Federal Power and Responsibility. He represents Parker and Wise Counties in Texas House District 61.
▪ Brian Birdwell is a native Texan, decorated veteran of the United States Army, lifelong conservative Republican, survivor of the 9/11 terrorist attack on the Pentagon, and a proud husband and father. He represents Bosque, Ellis, Falls, Hill, Hood, Johnson, McLennan, Navarro, Somervell and Tarrant [partial] Counties in Texas Senate District 22.