Better Governing Now » ATTENTION: NC is Moving Forward with a Call for a Convention of States


ATTENTION: NC is Moving Forward with a Call for a Convention of States

Balanced Budget Amendment Gets Initial Push in NC

    North Carolina could become the fifth state to call for an unprecedented national convention of states to draft a constitutional amendment that would require the federal government to maintain a balanced budget.

    House Bill 366, which sets the parameters of such a convention, narrowly cleared the House Judiciary I Committee today (August 5). It must still pass the Appropriations Committee before getting a hearing on the House floor. NC legislators apparently believe that a balanced budget amendment would finally put the brakes on a steadily growing debt that will burden US taxpayers for many years and even more, would finally have the effect of forcing the federal government to operate within the confines of the US Constitution.

    The legislation would create a compact among states that agree to call for a convention under Article V of the Constitution to propose amendments. Georgia, Alaska, Mississippi, and North Dakota have already joined. The agreement would limit the convention to voting only on a balanced budget amendment.

    Opponents, however, understand that no state laws can bind such a constitutional convention, and have warned that putting delegates from various states together could produce serious unintended consequences. They know their history. The resolution that was debated and passed in the Confederation Congress (under the Articles of Confederation, our "first" constitution) specifically limited the delegates assembled in Philadelphia in 1787 to only propose "amendments" to the Articles. But as we all know, the delegates attended the Convention with a radically different plan. In the end, an entirely new Constitution was written and an entirely new form of government was created.

    Rep. Michael Speciale, of Craven County, is one who understands the risks. As he commented: "You could wind up with a runaway convention. It becomes subject to the whims of attendees. It's a scary prospect."

    Wynne Coleman, chairwoman of No Convention of States North Carolina, said a balanced budget amendment wouldn't limit federal spending and could provide the government with more taxing powers.

    What is really needed is oversight of each item of spending in the budget. If the item is not one of the expressly-listed objects for which the government is legally entitled to tax and spend (see Article I, Section 8 --- and IGNORE the broad interpretations handed down by the Supreme Court), then the item needs to be removed from the budget.

    Who should make the determination as to the constitutionality of budget items? The States, of course. This determination would be a better reason for the states to gather together. They should get together every year and review the government's budget. It does a state good to flex its sovereign muscles.

    The Eastern NC Tea Party will be holding a meeting in the coming months to address the topic of an Article V Convention of States. This is meeting that no one should miss. In the meantime, it is advised that people begin reading up on this "second option" provided in Article V for amending the Constitution.

Here is a fairly short informational video (which legislators should view):

Here is another video that presents the potential dangers (as well as the warning that James Madison wrote in 1788):

    One of the most animated, passionate, and informed of all constitutional scholars on the subject of an Article V Convention is Publius Huldah. The following video is also highlighted separately on this ENC Tea Party site -

    Reference: Matthew Burns, "Balanced Budget Amendment Gets Initial Push in NC," WRAL, August 5, 2015.

    Publisher's note: Contributor Diane Rufino also serves of co-publisher for Pitt County NOW.

Associated Materials Expands In Lenoir County State Government Telecommunications Carriers Extending Broadband To Underserved North Carolina Communities