Convention of States & BBA Thurs. Feb. 13

The hearing will be starting at about 12:30 pm

Please contact the members of this South Carolina Special Committee
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H3017 Article V Balanced Budget Amendment
H3125 Article V Convention of States

HEARING: Thursday, February 13, starts about 12:30pm Room 516 Blatt.

MESSAGE: Please vote NO on H3017 an Article V Balanced Budget Amendment and H3125 a Constitutional Convention of States. An Article V Convention cannot be limited to one subject, opening the Constitution to unlimited changes. The budget can be balanced right now if Congress would follow the Constitution. The only way to balance a budget is to raise taxes or cut spending. The proposed balanced budget amendment does not limit tax increases. The Convention of States Project in their Pocket Guide proposes unlimited amendments covering issues from election law to energy and education to health care. An Article V Convention of States according to their own agenda is unlimited. Please vote No on H3017 and H3125. (or write your own message)   

CONTACT: Phone and Emails (leave a message)
Special Committee Representatives:
Chairman & Speaker Pro Tem Rep. Tommy Pope, York County, 803-984-6616 (Republican)
Rep. Jason Elliot, Greenville County, 803-212-6877 (Republican)
Rep. William Wheeler, Kershaw, Lee, & Sumter Counties, 803-212-6958, (Democrat)
Rep. Patricia Henegan, Chesterfield, Darlington & Marlboro Counties, 803-212-6896 (Democrat)
Rep. Paula Calhoon, Lexington County, 803-212-6924, (Republican)
Rep. Stewart Jones, Laurens County, 803-212-6713, (Republican)
Rep. Melissa Oremus, Aiken County, 803-212-6917, (Republican)

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More Information on COS and BBA below:
The Real Agenda of COS: Completely Change the U.S. Constitution
By Janine Hansen, National Constitutional Issues Chairman Eagle Forum

The Convention of States Project exposed their limitless agenda for an Article V Constitutional Convention in their own booklet published in 2018 and available on their website, “Article V Convention of States Citizen’s Pocket Guide”. COS lists an eye-opening number of limitless possible Amendments to completely alter the U.S. Constitution through an Article V Constitutional Convention.

On pages 33 and 34, Possible Amendments to Consider at a Convention of States” we read: “At an Article V Convention of States, delegates will have the opportunity to debate and pass amendments that could:

  • Require Members of Congress to live under the same laws they pass for us.
  • Impose term limits on Members of Congress.
  • Pass a federal balanced budget amendment.
  • Require a photo ID to vote.
  • Get the federal government out of our healthcare system.
  • Get the federal government out of our education system.
  • Stop unelected federal bureaucrats from imposing regulations.
  • Set term limits for Supreme Court Justices.
  • Set term limits for federal bureaucrats, ending the dominance of the “deep state.”
  • Remove the authority of the federal government over state energy policy.
  • Remove the authority of the federal government over land use issues within state borders.
  • Force the federal government to honor its commitment to return federal lands to the states.
  • At this convention, delegates from the states will gather for the sole purpose of limiting the power, size, and spending of the federal government, and impose term limits on its officials and members of Congress.” 

 Notice the broad range of subjects…from election law to energy policy, from education to healthcare. Is there an issue you can think of that doesn’t fit under COS’s enormous umbrella resolution?  Is there a pet amendment you would like to propose? Or perhaps, that the Delegates from large population Left- leaning states, who will have the majority of delegates, would like to propose?

In addition to these limitless possibilities and subjects, the COS booklet goes on to list proposals from their Colonial Williamsburg, Virginia simulated Convention held in September 2016 on six IDEAS, more subjects (not amendments but ideas). “The devil is in the details,” which are never provided.

  1. Not increasing the public debt except upon a recorded vote of two-thirds of each House of Congress.
  2. Term limits on Members of Congress
  3. Limiting federal overreach by returning the Commerce Clause to its original meaning.
  4. Limiting the power of federal regulations by giving an easy congressional override.
  5. Requiring a supermajority for federal taxes and repeal of the 16th Amendment.
  6. Giving the states (by a 3/5ths vote) the power to abrogate any federal law, regulation or executive order.

The key that unlocks the limitless amendments at an Article V Constitutional Convention is the COS Resolution itself. The Convention of States Project recommends “limiting” a Constitutional Convention to three subjects, which open every Article in the U.S. Constitution to limitless amendments. The three subjects are 1) “to impose Fiscal Restraints on the Federal Government” (That could mean a Balanced Budget of some sort but it is undefined and could mean much more), 2) to limit “the Power and Jurisdiction of the Federal Government,” (This opens to amendments all Six of the Seven Articles of the Constitution in which our Founders limited the power and jurisdiction of the Federal Government. In other words, it opens the door to limitless amendments to the entire Constitution), and to 3) “limit the terms of office for its officers and members of Congress”.

The Convention of States Article V resolution proposes an application with Subjects, which are undefined and limitless. The Convention of States is leading America towards a wide-open and limitless Article V Constitutional Convention of the States opening the door to fundamental and limitless changes to the U.S. Constitution according to COS’s own publication.

South Carolina’s Proposed Article V Balanced Budget Amendment
By Janine Hansen, National Constitutional Issues Chairman Eagle Forum

The Balanced Budget sounds very good to conservatives. We wish there was some way to reign in the out of control spending of the Federal Government. However, the Constitution is not the problem. The Federal Government has ignored the Enumerated Powers listed in the Constitution and spends money on countless things that are not authorized by the Constitution, like education. If a Balanced Budget Amendment was in the Constitution it would make matters worse by actually constitutionally authorizing Federal Spending outside of the Enumerated Powers.

The only way to balance a budget is to raise taxes or cut spending. There is no requirement in H3017 South Carolina’s proposed Article V Balanced Budget Amendment to limit tax increases.

Right now every state receives between 19% and 45% of its state budget from the Federal Government. According to, in 2014 South Carolina, received about 30.7% of its general revenue from the Federal Government. That is listed as $7,089,225.000. Would any South Carolina Representative or Senator vote at a Convention for a Balanced Budget Amendment which would result in the loss of $7,089,225.000 from the South Carolina state budget? Think of the crisis that would result in South Carolina from such a huge loss of general revenue.

State Legislators, both Republicans and Democrats, continue to vote for Federal Mandates and money. How can they honestly say they support limiting spending by the Federal Government when they continue to vote to take more money from the Feds?

With all of these concerns about a BBA, the greatest concern is that an Article V Constitutional Convention cannot be limited. Phyllis Schlafly, the President of Eagle Forum until her passing in 2016, was an ardent opponent of an Article V Constitutional Convention. When she served on the Bi-Centennial Commission, she requested an opinion from then Chief Justice Warren Burger on the risks of an Article V Convention. He is the highest authority in the United States to ever speak out on a Constitutional Convention. He stated: “I have also repeatedly given my opinion that there is no effective way to limit or muzzle the actions of a Constitutional Convention. The Convention could make its own rules and set its own agenda. Congress might try to limit the Convention to one amendment or to one issue, but there is no way to assure that the Convention would obey. After a Convention is convened, it will be too late to stop the convention if we don’t like its agenda…”

In addition, in 2015 the New Jersey Law Journal cited Supreme Court Justice “Scalia called it ‘a horrible idea’ to hold a constitutional convention in this age of special interests.”

An Article V Convention should be of great concern especially to a smaller population state because all previously proposed rules for an Article V Convention by the U.S. Congress include representation based on the formula of the Electoral College, which is 1 delegate for each Congressional District and 2 delegates at large. Unlike the original Constitutional Convention in which each state had one vote, a new Constitutional Convention will mean that South Carolina will have 9 delegates and California will have 55 delegates.  To me as a conservative that is very scary!

 Article V limits what can be amended to only one item, “no State, without its Consent, shall be deprived of its equal Suffrage in the Senate.” In other words, no State can be deprived of its two U.S. Senators without its consent. That is significant because it means that EVERYTHING else in the Constitution can be amended, including the amending process itself in Article V. In the original Constitutional Convention the amending process of the Articles of Confederation, which required a unanimous vote of the states, was thrown out. The New Constitution only required nine of the thirteen States to ratify the Constitution for it to take effect.

When proponents of an Article V Constitutional Convention say that we don’t have to worry about what comes out of a Convention because any Amendments proposed by the Convention will have to be approved by the States, I have three responses.  1) Didn’t the States approve the 16th Amendment which gave us the Income Tax? 2) Didn’t the States pass the 17th Amendment which changed forever the balance of power between the States and the Federal Government to the detriment of the States? And 3) The Convention, just like the original Constitutional Convention did, can change the ratification process. Could that happen at a new Constitutional Convention? Instead of requiring 38 States to ratify any Amendments, they might change it to two-thirds or one more than 50 percent…just 26 States. If the politicians controlling an Article V Constitutional Convention thought that enough states would not approve the new amendments or the New Constitution, they could as our Founders did, throw out the current Constitutional requirements for amending the Constitution.

It’s of interest to note that in 2012 the National Republican Committee adopted a Resolution opposing all Article V Constitutional Conventions.

What else do we RISK? I always say the first thing that will go in an Article V Constitutional Convention will be the Second Amendment, the Right to Keep and Bear Arms. Former Supreme Court Justice John Paul Stevens stated in 2018, that, “…Overturning that decision via a constitutional amendment to get rid of the Second Amendment would be simple and would do more to weaken the N.R.A.’s ability to stymie legislative debate and block constructive gun control legislation than any other available option.”

In this world of the “Politically Correct” we also risk losing our Freedom of Speech and the Free Exercise of Religion. Free Speech and Religion are obstacles to the imposition of the Radical Left’s view of their Socialist Society. Of course, we know the Electoral College would be in jeopardy.

The proponents of the Balanced Budget Amendment are now promoting the idea that Congress can AGGREGATE Article V applications covering different issues in order to achieve the required 34 states. Rob Natelson’s new Study claims that we are “only one state away from a Convention to propose a Balanced Budget Amendment.” Actually we are at least 6 states away.

This aggregation of Article V applications further alarms those of us opposing a Constitutional Convention because we see the deliberate manipulation of the Constitutional process in order to achieve the aims of Convention proponents, that of an unlimited Constitutional Convention.

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