Article Five Convention of States Passes the House and Senate

Mar 11, 2016

Editor's Note: For the latest updates on the final day of the legislative session, be sure to keep checking our live blog.

Update: Saturday, March 12, 2016 at 5:36 p.m.

The West Virginia Senate adopted House Concurrent Resolution 36, after it was adopted by the House of Delegates late Friday night.

Del. Josh Nelson of Boone County attempted to amend the resolution Friday to put it into an interim study, but his amendment failed after hours of debate.

The resolution calls for an Article 5 Convention of States to amend the U.S. Constitution for a singular purpose: to require Congress to balance the federal budget except in times of national emergency.

Original Post:

The House of Delegates considered a resolution Friday that would allow West Virginia to send a number of West Virginia delegates to Washington, D.C. to try and amend the constitution on budget related charges.

House Concurrent Resolution 36, would add West Virginia to a list of states applying for an Article 5 Convention of States to amend the U.S. Constitution.

The convention would focus on amending the federal Constitution to require Congress to balance the nation’s budget each year, except in times of a national emergency.

Republican Josh Nelson of Boone County attempted to amend the resolution Friday, making it an interim study.

Republican Tom Fast of Fayette County spoke against the change.

"If we don’t' fix this debt, if we don't fix this uncontrolled spending, uncontrolled spending that's put forth by Democrats and Republicans in Congress," Fast said, "If that is not fixed, this country is ruined anyhow. So ladies and gentleman, it is time for action. It has been studied. It has been studied. This is not just a new concept that came along yesterday."

Democratic Delegate Larry Rowe of Kanawha County spoke in favor of the study.

“There’s no need for a rush," Rowe explained, "Someone said that this provision has been in the constitution for 229 years, and it’s been dormant, and there’s a good reason that it’s dormant. It’s because people need to study whether we should, as someone said turn the key on Pandora’s Box. This is very dangerous stuff. This is really dangerous stuff when we start tinkering with the constitutional basis of our country.”

Before delegates could move for a vote, however Majority Leader Daryl Cowles of Morgan County moved to have the resolution be placed at the foot of the agenda.

As of 5:00 p.m. Friday evening, Delegates had not yet voted on House Concurrent Resolution 36. However, to monitor the vote you can view it on the West Virginia Legislature's website.