Republicans in a House subcommittee moved House Joint Resolution 9 through on Wednesday. The resolution calls for an Article V Convention to propose amendments imposing fiscal restraints and limiting the power and jurisdiction of the federal government.
Democrat State Rep. Christina Bohannan spoke against the resolution.
“This proposed convention has potentially far-reaching consequences,” she said. “I mean, it really could completely wipe out our current Constitution and replace it with something entirely different because the language here says that the delegates from Iowa to the convention are expressly limited to consideration and support of amendments that impose fiscal restraints on the federal government, but then it goes on to say that they can consider amendments that limit the power and jurisdiction of the federal government.
“The power and jurisdiction of the federal government is everything in the Constitution — Articles 1, 2 and 3 all relate to the power and jurisdiction of the federal government.”
Bohannan said Article 1 is legislative. Article 2 addresses the executive and Article 3 addresses the judiciary.
“All of those are talking about the power and jurisdiction of the federal government,” Bohannan said. “So, we’re talking about potentially reconsidering in its entirety the main body of the Constitution.”
Bohannan said it could “completely eviscerate” the Bill of Rights.
“If we expanded the power of the federal government, which would be allowed in this convention, that would diminish the rights — so our free speech rights, the Second Amendment rights, the Third Amendment — whatever that means — the search and seizure in the Fourth Amendment, you know, all of it.
“This is a wide-ranging proposal. It could result, I’m not saying that it necessarily would, but it really could risk completely wiping out our current Constitution and replacing it with something else. And I think that is way too big a risk to take.”
Bohannan said changing the Constitution will not fix the division and distrust Americans have of their government.
“Honestly, I think the Constitution is the only thing holding us together at this point,” she said.
Bohannan did not support the proposal.
Republican State Rep. Shannon Lundgren said it takes 34 states to apply to the federal government to call a Convention of the States and 38 states to ratify any amendments.
“So, at this point, I really feel like local governments sometimes, we tie their hands based on money that we send into their communities, our hands get tied by the federal government and the money that they send to our community and our state. I really feel at this point that the rule is with the People and the People should have a say in regards to how our government governs and the power and jurisdiction that our government has.
“And because of that and because of the safe stops that are of course in Article 5 in regards to ratification, I am going to be in support of HJR 9 today.”
Of note, as hot a topic as Article V Convention topics seem to be, zero members of the public spoke at the subcommittee and zero left public comments online.