Governors’ Proposed Convention a “Radical Political Gambit that Threatens Our Constitution”

Balanced budget amendment would result in “disastrous consequences for the economic security of all Americans”Constitutional Convention 3-26-2015

Augusta, Maine (Thursday, March 26, 2015) The Maine Center for Economic Policy (MECEP) raised concerns that a resolution Gov. LePage supports calling for a constitutional convention would threaten the Constitution. Today, along with Ohio Gov. John Kasich, he plans to urge the legislature to pass it, but this will put our country on a dangerous path.

“The proposed constitutional convention is an unprecedented, radical political gambit that threatens our Constitution and the protections it affords to Americans’ most fundamental rights,” said MECEP executive director Garrett Martin. “Such a convention would open a Pandora’s box of potentially far-reaching changes to the constitutional system that has preserved our rights and liberties through a civil war, the Great Depression, two world wars, and countless economic and civil upheavals. The legislature should reject this reckless proposal.”

The governors say the goal of their proposed constitutional convention is adoption of a balanced budget amendment. Such an amendment would be devastating for our country.

“Such an amendment would have disastrous consequences for the economic security of all Americans,” Martin said. “It would lengthen and deepen recessions, making them more painful by requiring deeper budget cuts or higher tax increases when the economy most needs government to invest in job creation and provide critical support to the unemployed as they seek new jobs.”

Martin noted that Gov. Kasich is one of several Republican governors who have accepted federal Affordable Care Act funds to expand Medicaid to cover millions of uninsured people in their states, and urged the governors to discuss this issue instead.

“It would be far better for our state if the governors were to use their joint appearance to announce that Gov. LePage will follow Gov. Kasich’s example and accept federal health care funds,” Martin said. “Not only would that help more than 60,000 Mainers get affordable health care, it would provide an immediate and significant boost to Maine’s economy which continues to struggle more than six years after the end of the recession. Accepting federal funds to expand Medicaid would create more than 4,000 jobs, add half a billion dollars annually to Maine’s economy, and benefit the entire state, especially the most rural and economically challenged areas.”