Governor Greg Abbott wants Texas to lead the charge to rein in the federal government and bring rights back to states.
The Texas Republican called for a Convention of States to amend the U.S. Constitution Tuesday.
“Power has slipped from the grasp of the people it belonged to,” Governor Abbott said. “We the people,” Abbott said to a crowd of supporters who echoed those words from the Constitution.
Abbott said he doesn’t want to rewrite the U.S. constitution, he wants to apply it; specifically Article 5 which involves amending the constitution.
“The way that Hamilton and Madison and the rest of them wrote it,” Abbott said.
Hours earlier, two state lawmakers filed bills that would add Texas to a handful of states calling for a constitutional amendment to restrict the federal government’s power.
“That’s what the Convention of States will do,” Abbott said to a roomful of cheers.
Abbott dismissed critics who warn that such process could open the country’s doors to chaos and strain the nation’s already tense political scene.
“What is ailing America is far bigger than what any one president can fix,” Abbott said.
The Governor said the election of a Republican president does not quiet his call to assemble states and amend the U.S. Constitution.
“President-elect Donald Trump epitomizes exactly why we need a Convention of States, why we need state to lead the way in proposing constitutional amendments,” Abbott said.
Like Abbott, Trump has also called for an amendment to put congressional term limits in place. “Members of the United States Congress are not going to propose term limits on themselves, we the people must propose it on them,” said Abbott.
Trump will inherit a GOP controlled House and Senate when he is sworn into office in January.
Abbott said all three branches of government have strayed so far from the U.S. Constitution “it’s impossible to put that genie back in the box by just one president.”
“The government is out of the control and we’ve got to rein them in,” said Roman Stockton, a Convention of the States supporter.
If the states don’t limit the federal government’s power, Stockton believes the country’s national debt will continue to climb.
He said, “There’s two ways to conquer and enslave a nation, one is by sword the other is by debt.”
It would take 34 states to agree to convene and 36 to ratify a proposed amendment. So far, only eight have joined.
Hopeful more states will get on board, Abbott noted the November election put 33 Republican governors into office nationwide.
Governor Abbott has promised to make the Convention of States a top priority when Texas legislatures convene next month.
The Democratic Party of Texas criticized Abbott’s renewed push to amend the constitution in a written statement Wednesday.
“Texas families need a raise, they’re begging for serious solutions on school funding, college affordability, and gridlocked traffic, yet Republican Gov. Greg Abbott is obsessed with tearing apart the Constitution,” wrote Manny Garcia, the Deputy Director of the Texas Democratic Party.
“Texas families deserve real leadership, not fringe Republican fantasies,” Garcia continued.
The U.S. has not held a constitutional convention since George Washington led the original proceedings in 1787.