The 27th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution has an interesting history. Originally proposed in 1789, it wasn’t until a determined University of Texas student took on its cause did it get ratified — in 1992.
The text goes as follows: “No law, varying the compensation for the services of the Senators and Representatives, shall take effect, until an election of Representatives shall have intervened.”
There’s an election in 2020. I’m just saying, since the Democrats in the House of Representatives think they’re doing such a bang-up job they deserve a hefty raise.
“House spending leaders want to break a decade-long pay freeze and give members of Congress a cost-of-living bump that could pad their salaries with an extra $4,500 next year,” Politico reported Tuesday.
“Congressional salaries have been frozen at about $174,000 since 2009, when Democrats controlled Congress and decided to suspend automatic cost-of-living increases while heading into the 2010 election year.”
That didn’t work and they lost the House. Now they have it back — so, uh, party time?
“There is strong bipartisan support for these modest inflation adjustments,” Evan Hollander, spokesman for the House Appropriations Committee, said.
According to Politico, he also “not[ed] that the panel does not have to take action to allow the automatic increases and will simply be forgoing language that would block the raises.”
“If members want to alter or eliminate the [cost-of-living adjustment], they should do so through the authorizing process — not appropriations bills,” Hollander said.
In other words, Hollander is well on his way to being a professional liar. Good work, kid.
So, what exactly has the Democrat-led House done to deserve a $4,500 taxpayer-funded pay increase?
Money well spent, right?
The man who helped get the 27th Amendment passed, Gregory Watson, “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,” according to the American Constitution Center.
“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.A., then to his professor; and when he was unsuccessful, he decided to take the issue to the country.
“In an NPR report in May 2017, he said that after his teacher affirmed the C, ‘I thought right then and there, ‘I’m going to get that thing ratified.’”
And he did. A reminder to those of you who might agree with Senate Appropriations Committee Chairman Sen. Richard Shelby, an Alabama Republican: “I think the American people would think that Congress ought to earn it first,” he said.
A good reminder that you can vote those who think they deserve a pay raise on top of hefty speaking fees out of office, particularly if they’ve just been voted in.