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Nebraska lawmakers overcome filibuster, pass ‘Convention of States’ resolution

By: - January 28, 2022 1:00 pm
Nebraska State Capitol Building

The Nebraska State Capitol Building in Lincoln. (Rebecca S. Gratz for the Nebraska Examiner)

LINCOLN — Nebraska became the 17th state on Friday to pass a resolution calling for a “Convention of States” to draft proposed constitutional amendments to limit federal spending, impose term limits on U.S. senators and representatives and reduce the size of federal

Sen. Steve Halloran
State Sen. Steve Halloran of Hastings
(Photo courtesy Unicameral Information Office)

government.

State Sen. Steve Halloran of Hastings and 18 co-sponsors, all Republican, proposed the resolution, saying that spending in Congress is out of control and must be reined in.

Omaha Sen. John McCollister led the opposition to the idea, calling it a “monster” that could get out of control, with such a convention straying into other issues, including limiting the powers of the president.

Two-thirds of the states, or 34, would have to agree before a convention of the states could be called. Wisconsin became the 16th state to pass such a resolution earlier this week. Advocates say it’s a way to return control to the states and fight back against the agenda of President Joe Biden and Congress.

Halloran’s Legislative Resolution 14 advanced on a 32-14 vote, mostly along party lines, after 33 of the Unicameral’s 49 senators voted to end a filibuster against the idea.  

Under an amendment attached to LR 14, Nebraska’s call would expire after five years.

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Paul Hammel
Paul Hammel

Senior Reporter Paul Hammel has covered the Nebraska Legislature and Nebraska state government for decades. He started his career reporting for the Omaha Sun and later, editing the Papillion Times group in suburban Omaha. He joined the Lincoln Journal-Star as a sports enterprise reporter, and then a roving reporter covering southeast Nebraska. In 1990, he was hired by the Omaha World-Herald as a legislative reporter. Later, for 15 years, he roamed the state covering all kinds of news and feature stories. In the past decade, he served as chief of the Lincoln Bureau and enterprise reporter. Paul has won awards for reporting from Great Plains Journalism, the Associated Press, Nebraska Newspaper Association and Suburban Newspapers of America. A native of Ralston, Nebraska, he is vice president of the John G. Neihardt Foundation, a member of the Nebraska Hop Growers and a volunteer caretaker of Irvingdale Park in Lincoln.

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