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STEVE STIVERS

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Stivers' Article V Rule Change Passes on House Floor

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Washington, January 8, 2015 | comments
WASHINGTON – Rep. Steve Stivers’ (R-OH) amendment to the House Rules passed by a vote on the House Floor this week. Stivers’ rule change will help support the nation-wide push for a federal Balanced Budget Amendment (BBA), by creating a system for the U.S. House of Representatives to track, document and count the number of incoming Article V Constitutional Convention petitions from state legislatures.
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WASHINGTON – Rep. Steve Stivers’ (R-OH) amendment to the House Rules passed by a vote on the House Floor this week.  Stivers’ rule change will help support the nation-wide push for a federal Balanced Budget Amendment (BBA), by creating a system for the U.S. House of Representatives to track, document and count the number of incoming Article V Constitutional Convention petitions from state legislatures.

“I am pleased my colleagues supported my addition to the House Rules this week,” Stivers said. “I believe a Balanced Budget Amendment is the only way to stop out-of-control government spending.  I hope the passage of this rule will put us one step closer to fiscal responsibility and the inclusion of the BBA in the United States Constitution.”

Amendments to the United States Constitution can be made by a vote of Congress. However, the Constitution can also be amended if two-thirds, or 34, of the state legislatures call for a limited convention to discuss an amendment on a specific topic, such as the BBA.  Once a Convention is convened 38 states, or three-fourths, must ratify any constitutional amendment. However, without the rule change that Stivers authored, there is no way to know how many states have petitioned on any specific subject, which would result in the process being stalled.

Specifically, the rule creates a process for the intake of the petitions through the Chairman of the Judiciary Committee and gives the Clerk’s Office the responsibility of making the petitions electronically available and organized by the subject, state of origin and year of receipt. This will allow Congress, as well as the American people, to better track the progress of specific Article V efforts.  Prior to Stivers’ rule update, no formal process for cataloging the petitions existed.

Ohio is one of 24 states that have already sent Congress their petition requesting a limited constitutional convention on the BBA.  Stivers is a strong supporter of Governor John Kasich’s (R-OH) efforts to encourage additional states to call for a limited constitutional convention on the Balanced Budget Amendment. 

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