Standing with a throng of supporters on the steps of the Texas Capitol, several prominent lawmakers filed legislation that would make Texas the ninth state to call for an Article V Convention.
Written into the US Constitution by the founding fathers, Article V, Section II of the document provides states with a mechanism to reign in the federal government. This action requires two-thirds of the states to call for a convention in order to propose amendments to the Constitution which would then require ratification by three-fourths of the states.
Legislation to call for an Article V Convention has been a major priority of Gov. Greg Abbott who has aggressively advocated for the issue since unveiling his “Texas Plan” last year and labeled it as a “cornerstone” of his agenda.
Speaking on the issue today, Abbott told supporters that even with a Republican president, an Article V convention was necessary to reign in federal government.
“What is ailing America is far bigger than what any one president can fix,” said Abbott. “All three branches of government have so far strayed from what the Constitution provides it is impossible to put that genie back in the box by just one president. It’s going to take far too long.”
Filing the legislation for Texas to join the call was State Sen. Brian Birdwell (R-Granbury) and State Reps. Phil King (R-Weatherford) and Rick Miller (R-Sugar Land).
Last session, Article V legislation passed the Texas House but was stopped in the state’s upper chamber by State Sen. Craig Estes (R-Wichita Falls). Though Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick has made the issue one of his priorities this session, supporters of the issue argue that Estes is still a major barrier to the bill’s passage.
Due to the three-fifths rule of Texas Senate, legislators can technically still pass the bill over Estes’ objections if the rest of the Republican caucus sticks together—or if supporters of the issue are able to pick off a Democrat or two.