Tags: Polls | adoption | convention | pew

742 Proposals to Amend Constitution Since 1999

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Friday, 01 December 2017 12:29 PM Current | Bio | Archive

Since 1999, there have been 742 proposals to amend the U.S. Constitution. According to the Pew Research Center, the vast majority have died in committee. Only 20 times was a potential amendment voted on by the full House or Senate.[1]

"One proposed amendment did come close to congressional adoption. During each term of Congress from 1999 to 2006, the House approved an amendment banning flag desecration, only to see it die in the Senate.” Pew notes that in 2006, “the Senate version fell just one vote of the two-thirds requirement."

The requirements to amend the U.S. Constitution are challenging.

Only one approach has ever worked. That requires a proposed amendment to receive a two-thirds vote in both the House and the Senate. If it gets that far, it must then be ratified by three-quarters of the states. Some issues, such as term limits, that have strong support among the public have far more opposition in Congress. Others, such as a proposed Equal Rights Amendment in the 1970s, fail to receive enough support in the states.

Article V of the U.S. Constitution provides another approach to amending the Constitution by calling a convention of the states. If two-thirds of the states agree, a convention will be called to propose new amendments. Any proposed amendments would still have to be ratified by three-quarters of the states before enactment.

This approach has never been used, but there is currently an effort underway to call for a convention of the states.[2] It has already succeeded in getting 12 states to issue a call for a convention.[3]

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Footnotes:

  1. Pew Research Center, "Proposed amendments to the U.S. Constitution seldom go anywhere," September 15, 2017
  2. The Convention of States (COS) Project, "Convention of States," accessed November 30, 2017
  3. Convention of States Action, "States With Passed Article V Resolution," accessed November 30, 2017

Each weekday, Scott Rasmussen’s Number of the Day explores interesting and newsworthy topics at the intersection of culture, politics, and technology. Columns published on Ballotpedia reflect the views of the author.

Scott Rasmussen is founder and president of the Rasmussen Media Group. He is the author of "Mad as Hell: How the Tea Party Movement Is Fundamentally Remaking Our Two-Party System," "In Search of Self-Governance," and "The People’s Money: How Voters Will Balance the Budget and Eliminate the Federal Debt." Read more reports from Scott Rasmussen — Click Here Now.

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There is currently an effort underway to call for a convention of the states. It has already succeeded in getting 12 states to issue a call for a convention.
adoption, convention, pew
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2017-29-01
Friday, 01 December 2017 12:29 PM
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