House committee votes 13-5 for Article V constitutional amending convention

Guest Post by former NH Senator Jim Rubens

Fiscal Responsibility. Reducing Federal Power. Term Limits.

Convention of States 3-Subject Application

In a striking turnaround after years of rejection, yesterday, the New Hampshire House State-Federal Relations committee voted 13-5 for HCR1, the Convention of States 3-subject application for a state-led Article V amending convention. All Republicans and 3 of 8 Democrats voted yes.

If the New Hampshire legislature were to adopt HCR1, our state would become number 20 of the required 34 mandating that Congress set the date and location for an amending convention limited to the subjects of fiscal responsibility, reducing federal power and imposing term limits.

Two take-aways …

· Runaway convention concerns now appear fully addressed among Republicans who have had the opportunity to weigh the pro and con arguments.

· Support is increasingly bipartisan for use of the state-led amending process to tackle major national challenges that Congress won’t.

I offered testimony to the committee that a proposed constitutional amendment restoring to states the power to set limits on the out-of-state SuperPAC, dark money and foreign campaign money that now dominates all swing elections would be ruled germane to HCR1’s “limit the power and jurisdiction of the federal government” subject.

This committee vote confirms the 2-1 support for the GOP Debt Limit Resolution at last Saturday’s NH GOP annual meeting urging Governor Sununu to advise the NH AG to file a Writ of Mandamus to require Congress to call a single-subject Article V amending convention, given that 39 states had already submitted valid applications as of 1979.

These two votes are newsworthy (1) given immense public frustration with Congress’ continuing failure to act in the face of longstanding national challenges; and (2) the increased likelihood that the nation’s first state-led Article V amending convention addressing at least one of these challenges will launch within a year or two.

Action needed now:

Contact your House member(s) urging them to support HCR1 when it comes to the floor.

Jim Rubens is a former NH State Senator and a past chair of the NH GOP platform committee.

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