Legislative Republicans Want to Re-Write Federal Constitution… Seriously

MADISON – Today, the Assembly Committee on Federalism on Interstate Relations and the Senate Committee on Financial Services, Constitution and Federalism will be holding a joint public hearing on several pieces of legislation that call for and set procedures for a constitutional convention to amend the federal constitution and require a balanced budget. 

Rep. Chris Taylor (D-Madison) released the following statement:

“Today, the American Legislative Exchange Council’s (ALEC’s) campaign to amend the federal constitution has come to Wisconsin, which I detail in this article.  ALEC, their funders and allies have been on a campaign to knee cap the federal government, crush federal civil rights and environmental protections and cut social safety nets.  At first glance, their efforts to amend the federal constitution to require a balance budget amendment might sound benign. But very few of us can buy a car or a home without incurring a debt.  And most Americans want the federal government to be able to respond to emergencies, support social security and Medicaid, and give the economy a boost during a recession. 

“If passed, Wisconsin would become the 30th state to approve such a resolution calling for an Article V Constitutional Convention, out of 34 states needed.  As demonstrated during the last time such a convention was called in 1787, there is no legal way to limit the scope of such a Convention, and even preapproved rules can be disregarded, placing the entire constitution up for grabs.  This is a dangerous and unprecedented effort driven from special interest forces outside of our state.

“If Republicans really wanted to get serious about balanced budgets they wouldn’t shell out millions of taxpayer money for gerrymandered redistricting maps and in tax giveaways to their wealthy friends.”