Getting North Carolina legislators to formally call for a convention to consider creating amendments to the U.S. Constitution is the way forward to rein in an ever-expanding federal government, former U.S. Sen. Rick Santorum said Wednesday.

Santorum joined House Speaker Tim Moore and other chamber Republicans at a Legislative Building news conference to back a renewed effort for the state to advance the creation of a ‘convention of states.’

A proposed joint resolution filed this week in the House would formally seek the convention, which the Constitution says needs support from 34 states to happen. Nineteen states have passed convention resolutions so far, according to the Convention of States group that lobbies for the idea.

Previous proposals have had mixed results in recent years in the state House and have made little headway in the Senate.

This week’s proposal would limit any convention to considering amendments to address fiscal restraints and power limitations upon Washington and term limits. A convention bill introduced by Moore focusing solely on term limits was filed last week.

The U.S. government is running up more debt than ever and exerting more power upon individuals, leading to divisions within the country, according to Santorum, a Pennsylania Republican and senior adviser to the Convention of States.

‘Washington is never going to fix itself,’ Santorum said, surrounded by legislators and local convention advocates. ‘There is only one mechanism available in the Constitution — and I would say anywhere — to stop this problem from getting to the point of breaking and that rests in the power of the men and women behind me.’

Some opponents argue that a convention would lead to a free-for-all of amendments that could lead to extreme changes to the U.S. system of government.

But Santorum said that since approved amendments have to be ratified by 38 states to be enacted, convention attendees would be careful to advance proposals that have gained broad consensus.

Moore said he expected both proposed resolutions to make their way through the House. Senate leader Phil Berger knows that a convention application is a priority of House Republicans and could figure into negotiations later this year, Moore said.

A joint resolution isn’t subject to Democratic Gov. Roy Cooper’s veto.


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