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Twenty-seventh Amendment





Twenty-seventh Amendment - The Text
No law, varying the compensation for the services of the Senators and Representatives, shall take effect, until an election of Representatives shall have intervened.

Twenty-seventh Amendment - The Meaning
Amendment XXVII prevents members of Congress from granting themselves pay raises during the current session. Rather, any raises that are adopted must take effect during the next session of Congress. Proponents of the amendment believed that legislators are more likely to be cautious about increasing congressional pay if they have no personal stake in the vote. The amendment was introduced in Congress in 1789 by James Madison and sent to the states for ratification at that time.

It was not until 1992 however, after public displeasure with repeated congressional pay increases, that the required three-quarters of the states ratified the measure. Unlike several other recent amendments, which contained a seven-year time limit for ratification by the states (see for example Amendments XX and XXI) Madison’s proposed amendment contained no time limit for ratification.