House narrowly defeats resolution calling for U.S. constitutional convention of states


Rep. Jason Probst, a Democrat from Hutchinson, said he voted against a resolution calling for a convention of all the states to amend the U.S. Constitution because Kansas shouldn’t “cede its sovereignty to some unknowable future body.” The Kansas House rejected the resolution. (Sherman Smith/Kansas Reflector)


TOPEKA — The Kansas House failed to pass by a two-thirds majority Wednesday a measure in support of a national constitutional convention designed to clamp down on federal authority and impose term limits on Congress.

Republican lawmakers eager for passage of House Concurrent Resolution 5027, which would authorize Kansas’ participation in the convention to consider and vote on U.S. constitutional limits, didn’t receive 84 votes required for passage. The House measure went down 76-43, falling short of a supermajority by eight.

The Kansas Senate didn’t approve a comparable resolution in 2021.

Rep. Ken Collins, R-Mulberry, said he voted against the House resolution because a convention would not likely bring greater control on Congress.

“If the required number of states pass an Article V resolution it will be Congress who calls the convention and makes the rules,” he said. “There are too many unanswered questions now about how it will work and I do not want to bet our constitution to find out.”

Democratic Rep. Jason Probst, of Hutchinson, said he couldn’t in good conscience support the resolution because it would grant “unmitigated power to a dysfunctional and untrustworthy Congress to determine the scope, rules and mechanics of any proceeding.”

“Kansas will cede its sovereignty to some unknowable future body while abandoning the enduring security of our constitution,” Probst said.

Under the U.S. Constitution, Congress must call the convention once two-thirds of states adopted the resolution. The Convention of States Action, which has worked to rally state support for the concept, said 17 states had completed the application process.

This article was used by permission from the Kansas Reflector. The Kansas Reflector is a non-profit online news organization serving Kansas. For more information on the organization, go to its website at www.kansasreflector.com.

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