Measure to limit federal government's power dies in Senate committee

Measure to limit federal government's power dies in Senate committee

BATON ROUGE, LA (WAFB) - Engaged in what was part history lesson, part heated debate, Rep. Raymond Garofalo, R-Chalmette, left the Senate Judiciary Committee Tuesday disappointed.

"This is the method that the framers included in the constitution," said Rep. Garofalo.

"All you're doing is putting us in a position where we're going to have to argue," said Sen. JP Morrell, D-New Orleans.

Rep. Garofalo's call to limit the federal government's power has momentum nationwide. Four states, Georgia, Florida, Alabama and Arkansas, have approved similar measures.

They reference Article V of the U.S. constitution, giving state legislatures the authority to amend the constitution, bypassing federal lawmakers, via a special convention.

There are 27 amendments to the constitution, but a convention of states is not responsible for any of them.

Supporters of Rep. Garofalo's measure want term limits on Congress and an amendment to require federal lawmakers to pass a balanced budget each year, something that has not happened in five years.

But opponents say issues in Washington mirror problems at home. Sen. Karen Carter Peterson, D-New Orleans, told Garofalo's team to "run for Congress" if they want to address problems at the federal level.

"Just because we're busy dealing with the issues that we have in the state of Louisiana, which are monumental issues, doesn't mean that we cannot pass this resolution," said Rep. Garofalo.

After passing the House earlier this session, the bill narrowly failed to pass the Senate committee Tuesday by a vote of 4-3.

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