The state Senate called for a national constitutional convention Tuesday at the Capitol.
Lawmakers want to amend the U.S. Constitution to impose fiscal restraints on the federal government, and impose term limits on officials and members of Congress.
Senator Bill Cowsert (R-Athens) says the goal of the convention is to reign in federal government.
“I think the federal government today is acting far outside the bounds that were intended by our founding fathers. And we have been sitting by and letting the federal government dictate many areas of our lives when they should rightfully be left to the states,” said Cowsert.
Macon Senator Cecil Staton says he wants to amend the U.S. Constitution to require a balanced federal budget.
“I believe the people of Georgia want us to do something. Send a message, tell Washington enough is enough. This is the way our founders gave us. It’s not easy, it’s not pretty, but it is the way,” said Stanton.
Senate Democratic leader Steve Henson (D- Tucker) opposed the resolution. He says he’s worried such a convention could get out of control.
“They can change in ways that we do not want it to appropriately change. If you’re worried about Congress up there acting the right way now, you should also be worried about a convention of states maybe acting the way you expect.”
Henson says the resolution doesn’t set up a structure for Georgia to send delegates to such a convention.
“Who appoints and how the representatives will be done? What controls or penalties will be placed on them to act in the way our state wishes them to act,” said Henson.
In addition to Georgia, 33 other states would have to pass similar resolutions for a convention to be called. The measure now goes to the state House.
The last constitutional convention met in 1787, with the goal to address the Articles of Confederation.