The Article V campaign for a Balanced Budget Amendment has been active for over 35 years, and currently has 28 of the needed 34 State Resolutions needed for success. Because it’s taken so long, and has suffered so many disappointments, alternative Article V campaigns have tried to pick up the Article V ball. Perhaps a different approach would have more success, it was believed. Inspired by Mark Levin’s The Liberty Amendments, the Convention of States organization was formed four or five years ago, and it has accumulated eight State Resolutions. The Compact for America is another alternative, and it has four Resolutions. U. S. Term Limits is now very active, and hopes to quickly gather Article V Resolutions for its proposal. There are also active organizations promoting an Article V “Countermand Amendment”, and a “Single Subject Amendment.” The latest entry is from Texas Governor Greg Abbott, which calls for a nine subject Amendment Convention.
The BBA Task Force has always supported any reasonable proposal to use Article V to restore Constitutional government. Unfortunately, the same cannot be said of all of the Task Force’s “competitors.” Some of them may lose their rationale if the BBA succeeds, and as a result efforts have been made to undermine the entire movement for an Article V BBA Convention. What these people fail to appreciate is that the BBA movement is an ice breaker, and once a path to success has been cleared, those who follow will have clear sailing.
The arguments and obstacles used against us are too numerous to mention, but the “runaway Convention” bugaboo is the main problem. This myth, concocted, originally, by Robert F. Kennedy, and promoted by the likes of Tip O’Neill, Walter Mondale, and the AFL-CIO, has been fervently embraced by the John Birch Society and a few other alt-right outfits. This has been the problem, and it’s only solution is to personally engage individual State Legislators on the issue. The large majority of these men and women can be talked to, and eventually see the light. Only a few are bull headed and are beyond reason.
Dealing with State Legislators, directly, is a time consuming process. Loren Enns spent weeks on end, criss-crossing the State of Wyoming, putting 10,000 miles on his car, meeting State Legislators in their far flung districts. As a result of all this hard work, we passed the House 35-23, and have a supermajority of support in the Senate. Bill Fruth has spent years in the field, criss-crossing the country, speaking to hundreds of State Legislators. All this labor has created a fallow field for Article V.
Loren didn’t need to tell them that a Balanced Budget Amendment was a good idea. They all want a BBA. What he had to do was convince them, one by one, that there wasn’t going to be a runaway convention. So whichever Article V organization follows up in Wyoming, they won’t have that hurdle to overcome. All they need to do is convince the State Legislators on the merits of their individual proposals. A whole lot easier.
The Task Force has an excellent chance of getting to 34 this year, and if we do, and an Amendment Convention is held, the Article V dam will burst, and I hope and pray we get half a dozen more. A great deal of damage has been done to the Constitution, and it will take more than one Amendment Convention to do the needed repair.
All these other Article V organizations need to understand what our success would mean to them. Most of them are well funded, which the Task Force is not, and never has been. If some of this funding could be directed in an effort to help with the BBA, it will be money well and wisely spent.