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President Ronald Reagan

Article V Convention and BBA Advocate

Ronald Reagan was a strong supporter of the 1970s state effort to propose a Balanced Budget Amendment (BBA) via the Article V Convention. He even mentioned it in his 1984 state of the union address. When describing his support for our campaign Reagan said,
“We can’t depend on Congress to discipline itself … we must rely on the states to force Congress to act on our amendment. Fortunately, our Nation’s Founders gave us the means to amend the Constitution through action of state legislatures … That is the only strategy that will work.”

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Senator Rand Paul

Article V Convention & BBA Advocate

Two years after his election in 2010, Rand Paul was so disgusted with the irresponsible borrowing of the U.S. Government, he went home and testified before the Kentucky legislature in support of a BBA to be proposed via the Article V Convention.
“Our Founders, in their enduring brilliance, provided the states with a mechanism to amend the Constitution should the U.S. Congress fail to act. Congress has not acted on a Balanced Budget Amendment despite the overwhelming feeling of the American people that it would help put our nation’s fiscal house in order.”

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President Dwight Eisenhower

Article V Convention Advocate

The five star general who led America through WWII and later served two terms as president understood the value of liberty which is why he was a strong supporter of the Article V Convention. He recognized it as the only constitutional method by which the people might peacefully reform their government. To illustrate this belief Eisenhower said,
“Through their state legislatures and without regard to the federal government, the people can demand a convention to propose amendments that can and will reverse any trends they see as fatal to true representative government.”

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President George Washington

Article V Convention Advocate

As the general who led the American colonies in revolt because they had no representation in Parliament, George Washington recognized the need for a peaceful democratic method by which the states might reform the new federal government. That’s why he was a strong supporter of the Article V Convention. His signature on the Constitution is proof enough. Furthermore, while the nation was debating whether to adopt the new Constitution, he reminded a friend that the states retained power over the federal government via the Article V Convention:
“the constitutional door is open for such amendments as shall be thought necessary by nine (two-thirds of the) states.”

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President Abraham Lincoln

Article V Convention Advocate

The man who many describe as our nation’s greatest president believed so strongly in the Article V Convention, that he supported the call for a convention to prevent the Civil War. Unfortunately, too many states had already seceded from the union. None-the-less, he described his support for the Article V Convention when said,
“This country, with its institutions, belongs to the people who inhabit it. Whenever they shall grow weary of the existing Government, they can exercise their constitutional right of amending it … I will venture to add that to me the convention mode seems preferable, in that it allows amendments to originate with the people themselves.”

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President Thomas Jefferson

Article V Convention & BBA Advocate

Thomas Jefferson laid the foundation for the Article V Convention in the Declaration of Independence and later recommended that we eliminate the right of the federal government to borrow,
“If a government becomes self-destructive, it is the right of the people to alter or abolish it.”
“I wish it were possible to obtain a single amendment to our Constitution … taking from the Federal Government the power of borrowing.”

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President James Madison

Article V Convention Advocate

Our nation’s fourth president and oft-proclaimed ‘father of the Constitution’ helped craft Article V and later signed the Constitution which proves his strong support for the Article V Convention. Much later in life he stated his strong support for the Article V Convention by proclaiming it as the ultimate method by which the states might defend their autonomy against federal encroachment:
“The final resort within the purview of the Constitution” for restoring state sovereignty “lies in an amendment of the Constitution, according to a process applicable by the states.”

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Founder Alexander Hamilton

Article V Convention Advocate

Alexander Hamilton was considered by many to be the most brilliant of our founding fathers. When he wrote Federalist 85, he cited his belief that the Article V Convention was a defensive mechanism that the states could use to prevent overreach by the new federal government.
“By the fifth article of the plan (the Constitution), the Congress will be obliged ‘on the application of the legislatures of two thirds of the States, to call a convention for proposing amendments’ … We may safely rely on the disposition of the State legislatures to erect barriers against the encroachments of the national authority.”