A national debt of $20 trillion, along with the national government’s annual budget deficit of $500 billion, has led to increasing support for an Article V convention across the country. Many opponents of an Article V convention are now running into stiff headwinds. Organizations in support of a convention are becoming better at responding to their falsehoods. Together, these developments have led to numerous legislative successes in statehouses across the nation in 2016 for the Article V movement.
Eagle Forum (EF) based in Alton, Illinois, has long been opposed to an Article V convention. Multiple news outlets, including The Daily Caller, reported on April 11th that long-time EF leader and founder Phyllis Schlafly was close to being fired by her own board of directors, in part due to her opposition to the Article V movement. Eagle Forum’s board eventually fired Schlafly’s hand-picked successor Ed Martin, although it chose to spare the 91-year-old Schlafly.
Arizona Senate President Andy Biggs (R-Phoenix) is a well-known and outspoken opponent of an Article V convention. Biggs took his opposition to another level in 2015 when he authored an anti-Article V convention book, Con of a Con-Con. Some campaigns in support of a convention have not been as successful in Arizona due to Biggs’ steadfast opposition. Biggs announced on February 25th that he would run for an open seat in Arizona’s 5th congressional district to replace the retiring Rep. Matt Salmon (R-Arizona). Members of the Arizona Senate run on two-year terms and face a limit of four consecutive terms in office. Biggs would have been term-limited after the 2018 election if he remained in the state’s Senate. Article V convention backers have found new hope for passing legislation in the Grand Canyon State in 2017 because of Biggs’ decision to run for Congress.
Twenty-nine states have fully enacted applications for a single-subject Article V convention for the purpose of a balanced budget amendment. Six states have passed a multiple-amendment proposal for a convention calling for a balanced budget amendment, congressional term limits, and reductions in federal regulations. The proposal is sponsored by the Convention of States project.