Congressional Terms & Benefits

Considerations for an Amendment to the U.S. Constitution

It is my firm opinion that there is a problem with our U.S. Congress. That problem exemplifies itself in several ways, including an ever-growing bi-partisan penchant for pork barrel (earmark) appropriations used to insure the reelection of incumbents and an unhealthy relationship between members of Congress and lobbyists. I and a growing number of Americans – from all sides of the political spectrum – are of the opinion that the only solution is to return our Congress to what the Founding Fathers intended – a "Citizen Congress."

It should be obvious to anyone with an understanding of modern politics that a term limit amendment will stand very little chance of acquiring the affirmative votes of 290 Congressmen and 67 Senators (two thirds of each house) or even being brought up for debate or vote. Several times in recent years, such amendments have been introduced, but – to this date, very predictably – they have never been brought up in committee by the powers in the House or Senate.

But ... the Founding Fathers did in fact provide an alternative.

The pertinent portion of Article V of the Constitution reads as follows: "The Congress, whenever two thirds of both Houses shall deem it necessary, shall propose Amendments to this Constitution, or, on the Application of the Legislatures of two thirds of the several States, shall call a Convention for proposing Amendments, which, in either Case, shall be valid to all Intents and Purposes, as Part of this Constitution, when ratified by the Legislatures of three fourths of the several States ..."

Therefore, the thus far unused alternative technique (often called an "Article V Convention" or a "Convention of States") is the only chance this measure will have. Thirty-four state legislatures must pass a resolution calling for a national meeting which would be assembled to introduce and pass this amendment or some close compromise thereto. In order to insure that both Congress and the public are clear that the 34-state requirement is met, the state "applications" to Congress must be nearly identical and should be submitted within a relative short period of time. To that end, I have drafted a resolution to be passed by each of the houses of each of these state legislatures.

It is gratifying to discover that a national organization, the Convention of States Project has begun to make substantial progress along these lines. The latest news seems to be that 28 state legislatures are seriously considering this and others are starting to pay attention. I have submitted my amendment (or as it may be broken into as many as four amendments) to this organization. These four primary sections should return Congress to its original intent - to be an assemblage of everyday citizens of the United States and not a lifelong career. You may use this short address to give to others or to return here yourself:

Click on Amendment to see the actual text of the amendment, or Resolution to see a typical resolution which must be passed by each house of each of 34 state legislatures, or Links to look at other sites discussing this subject.

Overview   The Proposed Amendment   State Resolution   Links on the Subject

If you want to help, please go to the Convention of States Project

This page last updated March 19, 2016
Web pages created & Amendment and Overview authored solely by Kit Williams
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