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Press Release


Leading Advocacy Group for Constitutional Federal Budget Reform Backs “Madison Amendment” to Give States’ Greater Say

For Immediate Release August 30, 2010
Pete Sepp, (703) 683-5700

     (Alexandria, VA) – A novel proposal to clarify and strengthen the ability of states to propose U.S. Constitutional Amendments got the nod today from a nonpartisan citizen group with a 35-year history of involvement in the process. The 362,000-member National Taxpayers Union (NTU) has endorsed the “Madison Amendment” (House Joint Resolution 95), which would ensure that two-thirds of the states could propose a specific amendment for ratification of the Constitution the same way Congress can. 

            “For several decades now, the very meaning of the term ‘federal system’ has been twisted to the point where states are often bound against their will by Washington’s painful regulatory restraints and constrictive purse strings,” said NTU President Duane Parde. “The Madison Amendment would ensure that when states call for a constitutional convention they have the ability to limit the scope of the convention to an up or down vote on a single amendment, just as Madison intended.” Prior to leading NTU, Parde headed the American Legislative Exchange Council, an organization representing thousands of state lawmakers dedicated to the Constitutional principles of limited government.

     Article V of the U.S. Constitution permits amendments to be proposed through a two-thirds vote of Congress or through a limited constitutional convention called by at least two-thirds of the states. The Madison Amendment would provide an alternative procedure so that two-thirds of the states could offer identical amendments one at a time. The Constitution’s current ratification procedure, requiring assent from three-fourths of the State Legislatures, would remain unchanged.

     Beginning in 1975, NTU spearheaded an Article V drive on behalf of a Balanced Budget Amendment, securing 32 of the 34 states necessary to call a convention for drafting such a proposal. The campaign met resistance from extremist organizations on both ends of the political spectrum, which falsely argued a convention could “run away” and alter the whole Constitution.

     “We continue to believe that the Article V convention process is a safe, limited, and effective way of proposing amendments to the Constitution,” Parde concluded. “Nonetheless, the Madison Amendment would, through its additional refinements, make this tool even more useful at a time when the need for it has never been more imperative or apparent.”

NTU is a nonpartisan, nonprofit citizen organization founded in 1969 to work for lower taxes, smaller government, accountability from public officials, and economic freedom at all levels.  For further information, visit www.ntu.org.