The American Constitution Society held a breakfast discussion, “Should Wisconsin Join the Call for a Constitutional Convention?” Sam Munger, Director of Strategic Engagement-State Innovation Exchange, explains how it works.
MADISON – The Wisconsin Assembly joined conservatives in other states Wednesday to call for holding a constitutional convention to require Congress to balance the federal budget.
The measure passed, 54-41, with seven Republicans siding with all Democrats to vote against it. The proposal now goes to the Senate, which like the Assembly is run by Republicans.
Assembly Speaker Robin Vos (R-Rochester) said a convention is necessary to get the federal government’s finances in shape.
“We are drowning in debt,” he said. “Congress has failed to act in any meaningful way to curb our growing debt.”
Rep. Fred Kessler (D-Milwaukee) argued against the plan, contending a convention could lead to drastic changes to long-established rights to free speech and own guns.
“There is no way to limit what can be brought up in a constitutional convention,” Kessler said. “It can repeal the Bill of Rights.”
Article V of the U.S. Constitution allows a convention for proposing amendments to be held if two-thirds of the states — 34 — call for one. To take effect, any amendments passed at a convention would have to be approved by three-quarters of the states, or 38.
So far, 27 states have called for a convention, according…
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