Texas Senate calls for amending Constitution to limit feds

AUSTIN, Texas (AP) -- The Texas Senate has approved calling a "convention of states" that would amend the U.S. Constitution and impose things like a federal balanced budget requirement and term limits. 

Republican Gov. Greg Abbott has long backed legislatures nationwide bypassing Congress and convening a convention against Washington "overreach." He made it an "emergency item," fast-tracking Tuesday's passage.

Doing so requires a series of bills that still must clear the state House. Twenty-eight states already have approved some form of call for a federal balanced budget amendment, including Texas 16 times previously.   

Many conservatives support the idea, despite Republicans now controlling the White House and Congress.  

But tea party groups and grassroots activists oppose it, worried about a "runaway" convention where liberal states could weaken things like the Second Amendment.

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