Any pay raise or hike would take effect for the Congress that follows a sitting Congress. Founding Father James Madison first proposed back in along with other amendments that became the Bill of Rights, but it took years for it to become the law of the land.
Congress passed the Twenty-Seventh Amendment by a two-thirds vote of both Houses, inalong with eleven other proposed constitutional amendments the last ten of which were ratified by the states inbecoming the Bill of Rights. The Amendment provides that: This is a very good thing.
The King had built up his power by corrupting these office holders, giving them easy and well-paid civil office jobs so that they would support him in Parliament.
This did not sit well with the general public, or with James Madison—it seemed like a big opening for Congress to pay itself too much. InMadison proposed twelve amendments to the federal Constitution, the first ten of which were ratified in and became the federal Bill of Rights.
One of the proposed amendments, which was not ratified at that time, was an amendment that became the Twenty-Seventh Amendment and which forbade congressional pay increases from taking effect until there had been an intervening election of members of Congress.
Madison did not want Congress to have power over its own pay without limitation. But he also did not want the President to control congressional salaries, since that would give the President too much power over Congress.
So instead, he proposed that an election had to happen before any pay raise could take effect. If the public opposed an overly generous congressional pay raise, the public could throw the offending congressmen out of office when they ran for re-election.
The congressional pay amendment was only ratified by 6 states initially. But the First Congress, which had passed the Amendment inhad not attached a time limit within which the Amendment had to be ratified by the states.
Some subsequent constitutional amendments have provided for such time limits. In the nineteenth century, one state joined this small group, and others in the twentieth, but no one thought it was going anywhere—or thought about it much at all.
Inthe Amendment was languishing before the states with only a tiny fraction of the number of states needed to ratify having ratified it.
That year Gregory Watson, a sophomore at the University of Texas, was assigned to write a paper about a government process. He came across a chapter in a book on the Constitution, listing proposed constitutional amendments that had not been ratified.
He wrote his paper on the congressional pay amendment, arguing that there was no time limit on when it could be ratified, and that it could be ratified now. He got a C on the paper.
Maybe if he had received a better grade on his paper, the story would have ended there, but Watson was sure it was a better paper, so he appealed his grade, first to his T.
After that, Watson kept pushing, and the Amendment picked up steam. As a result, a campaign was launched to get three-quarters of the states to ratify the Amendment over the totality of the period between and the present day. Infive states passed it, and bythe 38 states needed for full ratification had all passed the Amendment.
The Archivist of the United States declared the Amendment to be legally ratified, and, subsequently, Congress on May 20,declared the ratification to be legal and the Amendment to be part of the Constitution.
As of today, forty-six states have ratified the Twenty-Seventh Amendment while four have not.27th Amendment paper. Topics: United States The 27th amendment is very unique in that it took about years from the date that is was proposed to the date it was officially ratified by the states. The 27th amendment has to do with pay raises or decreases for the members of Congress.
Changes to the Congressional pay are supposed to. May 30, · 27th Amendment or Bust. John Heltman. May 30, researching a term paper he was going to write on the Equal Rights Amendment. He happened upon a book published by the Government Printing Office that included a copy of the Constitution, as well as several amendments that had been passed by Congress but not yet ratified .
May 05, · The Bad Grade That Changed The U.S. Constitution The 27th Amendment had languished for nearly years before a Texas student made passing it a personal cause.
The amendment was ratified 25 years. The ratification of the 27th amendment can be traced to a college student who proposed the idea in a term paper and was given a C by his professor for the idea.
The Twenty-seventh Amendment (Amendment XXVII) In the paper, Watson argued that the amendment was still "live" and could be ratified. On May 19th, , the 27th Amendment's certificate of ratification, signed by the Archivist of the United States on May 18th. Unfortunately for Watson, but fortunately for the 27th Amendment, he was given a C on his paper.
After his appeals to get the grade raised were rejected, Watson decided to take his appeal to the American people in a big way.