Increased Clout Behind Movement for Convention to Amend Constitution

The movement to amend the U.S. Constitution through a convention of the states has a new ally in retiring Sen. Tom Coburn (R-Okla.), a long time fiscal hawk.

U.S. Sen. Tom Coburn listens to a question during a town hall meeting at Oklahoma City Community College’s Visual and Performing Arts Center in Oklahoma City, Monday, Aug. 4, 2014. (AP Photo/The Oklahoman, Nate Billings)

“I’m going to work on constitutional convention, a convention of the states because I don’t think Washington is going to fix itself,” Coburn told KWTV in Oklahoma City.

The movement has been pushed by constitutional lawyer and conservative talk radio host Mark Levin and has been embraced by numerous state legislators across the country, mostly Republicans.

Coburn said his primary goal would to advocate for a convention with three main goals: a balanced budget amendment, an amendment to limit the executive branch’s regulatory authority, and an amendment to put term limits on members of Congress, according to KRMG of Tulsa, Oklahoma.

Coburn’s press office did not respond to TheBlaze’s request for comment Thursday.

Only state legislatures can make a convention of the states happen. But Coburn speaking up on behalf of the effort could help build public support.

Legislatures in 22 states have passed resolutions calling for a balanced budget amendment to the Constitution, while Vermont became the first to call for an amendment to limit spending and contributions in political campaigns.

Lawmakers from 30 states met in Indianapolis in June to discuss a convention about an Article V convention.

So far, all 27 amendments to the Constitution were passed by Congress and then ratified by three-fourths of the states. But the Constitution also allows for a convention of states to be convened if two-thirds of the states –34 – call for one. If a convention approves an amendment, three-fourths of the states – 38 – must vote to ratify it.

Coburn, whose office routinely issued reports about government waste, also told KRMG that he wanted to help educate young Americans about government waste and fraud.

“They’re clueless as to what’s going on, and they’re the ones that are going to suffer the consequences,” he said.