Legislator urges restrictions on spending, power
The House Government Operations Committee today approved legislation introduced by state Rep. Lee Chatfield calling for a convention of states to amend the U.S. Constitution and rein in the powers and spending of the federal government.
Chatfield, of Levering, who serves as chair of the committee and as House Speaker Pro Tempore, said he introduced the resolution because the federal government has exceeded the power bestowed upon it by the Founding Fathers.
“The federal government is out of control, and the states must convene and limit federal spending and the powers that Congress and federal department have misappropriated from the states,” Chatfield said. “Our nation has a crushing debt of more than $20 trillion and it continues to grow, creating a social and national security risk. We must put Congress and the federal government on a strict budget and limit its reckless spending.
“Congress and federal departments have invaded the legitimate roles of the states through unfunded mandates and using federal funding to influence issues that are the sole responsibility of the states,” Chatfield said. “It is the duty of the states to protect the liberty of our people, and the only way to achieve that is to amend the Constitution and rein in the federal government.”
Chatfield’s resolution also calls for term limits on members of Congress.
The resolution has been introduced in 43 other states. If approved by the Legislature, Michigan will become the 13th state this year to call for a convention of states. Two-thirds of the states – 34 – must approve the convention, and any amendments must gain the support of 38 states, Chatfield said.
Chatfield was joined in testimony by David Schneider, regional director of Convention of States Action. The resolution now goes to the full House for consideration.