Nebraska Senator Tom Brewer’s weekly update
My good friend Sen. Steve Halloran’s Convention of State’s resolution (LR 14) passed today without a single vote to spare. It was signed by the speaker of the legislature and presented to the Secretary of State for his correspondence with the congress.
Article V of the US Constitution provides two different ways to propose amendments to the federal constitution. Either two-thirds of congress or two-thirds of the states. Our country has used Article V thirty-three times to propose amendments. The states have ratified twenty-seven of them. So far, congress has proposed all of these amendments. The second way to propose amendments is when 34 states (2/3) make “application” to congress. This morning, Nebraska become the 17th State to make application to congress to call a convention of the states to propose amendments to the federal constitution. Our nation is at the halfway point thanks to Nebraska.
Since I have been in the legislature, there have been numerous attempts to accomplish this. During her time in the body Senator Laura Ebke introduced this measure at least three times and Senator Halloran has brought this legislation twice. Today’s victory was not fast or easy. It is the culmination of many years of hard work, and the steadfast persistence and determination of senators, staff, and hundreds of Nebraskans who gave so much of their time and talent. I extend my sincere thanks and gratitude to them all.
Once 34 states have made application to congress as we have, congress “shall” name the date and place of the convention. After doing that, congress has no further involvement in the convention. All 50 states may send a delegation to the convention whether they made application or not. Each state has one vote at the convention. A majority of the states will then create proposed amendments and forward them to the congress. The congress will then select a mode of ratification, and forward the amendments to the legislatures of the fifty states for ratification. Three-fourths of the States (38) must ratify the proposed amendment before it can become a part of the federal constitution.
Several serious concerns face our country. The terms of elected officials. The power and scope of the federal government, and the pressing need to balance our county’s budget are among the many ideas for proposed amendments.
The framers put this second way for states to propose amendments in the federal constitution because they feared the day would come when the congress would not restrain itself, and would grow too oppressive and tyrannical. Current events make quite clear we have arrived at that moment the framers of the constitution feared. The states created the federal government. Thank the lord they gave the states a way to reform it.
Please contact my office with any comments, questions or concerns. Email me at; email@example.com. Mail a letter to; Sen. Tom Brewer, Room #1423, P.O. Box 94604, Lincoln, NE 68509 or call us at (402) 471-2628.
Senator Tom Brewer
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