Iowa Statehouse Dome SquareThe Iowa House of Representatives passed HJR 8, a Convention of the States resolution on a 54 to 43 vote on Thursday.  Under Article V of the United States Constitution two-thirds of the states through an application made by their state legislatures can call for a convention of the states to propose amendments.

This resolution acts as an application for such a convention with the express purpose of proposing amendments to the Constitution that “impose fiscal restraints and limit the power and jurisdiction of the federal government.”

Citizens for Self-Governance launched the project Convention of the States to see similar resolutions in all 50 states.

State Representative Chris Hagenow (R-Windsor Heights) was the chief sponsor for this resolution, and it was co-sponsored by 51 other state representatives.

The 54 who voted yes:

Bacon Baltimore Baudler Baxter Best Branhagen Byrnes Carlson Cownie Deyoe Dolecheck Drake Fisher Forristall Fry Gassman Grassley Hagenow Hanusa Heartsill Heaton Hein Highfill Holt Huseman Jorgensen Kaufmann Klein Koester Kooiker Landon Maxwell Miller, L. Mommsen Moore Nunn Paulsen, Spkr. Paustian Pettengill Rizer Salmon Sands Sexton Sheets Sieck Soderberg Stanerson Taylor, R. Upmeyer Vander Linden Watts Wills Worthan Windschitl

The 43 who voted no:

Abdul-Samad Anderson Bearinger Bennett Berry Brown-Powers Cohoon Dawson Dunkel Finkenauer Forbes Gaines Gaskill Gustafson Hall Hanson Heddens Hunter Isenhart Jacoby Jones Kearns Kelley Lensing Lykam Mascher McConkey Meyer Miller, H. Olson Ourth Prichard Ruff Running-Marquardt Smith Staed Steckman Stutsman Taylor, T. Thede Wessel-Kroeschell Winckler Wolfe

3 Representatives did not vote or were not present: Kressig Oldson Rogers

The resolution reads:

A Joint Resolution applying for an Article V convention to propose amendments to the Constitution of the United States that impose fiscal restraints, and limit the power and jurisdiction of the federal government, and requesting Congress to similarly propose such amendments.

WHEREAS, the founders of the Constitution of the United States empowered state legislators to be guardians of liberty against future abuses of power by the federal government; and

WHEREAS, the federal government has created a crushing national debt through improper and imprudent spending; and

WHEREAS, the federal government has invaded the legitimate roles of the states through the manipulative process of federal mandates, most of which are unfunded to a great extent; and

WHEREAS, the federal government has ceased to live under a proper interpretation of the Constitution of the United States; and

WHEREAS, it is the solemn duty of the states to protect the liberty of our people, particularly for the generations to come, by proposing amendments to the Constitution of the United States through a convention of the states under Article V of the Constitution for the purpose of restraining these and related abuses of power; NOW THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED BY THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY OF THE STATE OF IOWA:

That the Congress of the United States is hereby petitioned to propose an amendment to the Constitution of the United States, for submission to the states for ratification, to impose fiscal restraints on the federal government and limit the federal government’s power and jurisdiction; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, That, pursuant to Article V of the Constitution of the United States, the General Assembly, as the Legislature of the State of Iowa, makes application to the Congress of the United States to call a convention for the specific and exclusive purpose of proposing an amendment to the Constitution of the United States, for submission to the states for ratification, to impose fiscal restraints on the federal government and limit the federal government’s power and jurisdiction; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, That pursuant to Article V of the Constitution of the United States, the Iowa General Assembly, as the Legislature of the State of Iowa, joins in the applications of the states of Georgia (SR 736, 2014), Florida (SM 476, 2014), and Alaska (HJR 22, 2014) for a convention for the specific and exclusive purpose of proposing amendments to the Constitution of the United States limited to the purposes stated therein, provided, however, that the delegates from Iowa to said convention are expressly limited to consideration and support of amendments that impose fiscal restraints on the federal government and limit the federal government’s power and jurisdiction; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, That it is the express intention of the General Assembly that this application shall be aggregated with the subsequent applications of other states limited to the purposes identified in this application and with those applications of the above-mentioned states; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, That this application constitutes a continuing application in accordance with Article V of the Constitution of the United States until the legislatures of at least two-thirds of the several states have made applications for a similar convention under Article V, or the General Assembly acts to withdraw this application; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, That the Secretary of State shall transmit certified copies of this Joint Resolution to the President and Secretary of the United States Senate, the Speaker and Clerk of the United States House of Representatives, the presiding officer in each house of the legislature in each of the states in the union, and to the members of Iowa’s congressional delegation requesting their cooperation.

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