What Does The 27th Amendment State ?
The 27th Amendment to the US Constitution states, “No law, varying the compensation for the services of the Senators and Representatives, shall take effect, until an election of Representatives shall have intervened.” In other words, this amendment does not allow passing of any law to change the benefits and salaries given to members of the Congress before the start of the next term of office for the House of Representatives.
Also popularly known as the Congressional Pay Amendment, the Congressional Compensation Amendment of 1789, and the Madison Amendment, it was put in force to serve as a limitation on the power of the Congress members to determine their own salaries and thus prevent probable conflicts of interest between the members of the House.
Although the amendment proposal was put forward in 1789, it got approval from the House in the year 1992. After ratification, it became the recent most US Constitutional amendment to be accepted by the House. The amendment led to the enforcement of a number of stringent laws that helped to predetermine the compensations and benefits provided to the Senators and the House representatives. The plans of any increase or decrease in the salary and bonuses of the Congress members were postponed indefinitely, until the next term of office.
After ratification of the proposal by New York and Virginia in the year 1788, the statement of the amendment was revised to state that the benefits provided to the members of the Senate and the House of Representatives shall be determined by the standing law. However, no change in the existing amount of compensation would be considered legal until it is made after the ensuing Election. Although the Congress had presented the amendment proposal before the state legislatures in 1789, it was only in the year 1816 that the General Court of Massachusetts and the Massachusetts House of Representatives approved the proposed changes. It was soon followed by the approvals of other US States, such as Kentucky (1817) and Tennessee (1818).
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