One of the least known constitutional amendments is getting a lot of publicity as a wild card in the ongoing budget battle in Washington.
The 27th Amendment is the most recent amendment, and there are many people who probably don’t remember what it stands for: congressional pay raises.
“No law, varying the compensation for the services of the Senators and Representatives, shall take effect, until an election of Representatives shall have intervened,” the amendment reads, as approved in 1992.
In short, the amendment states that a sitting Congress can’t change its pay while it is in session.
It’s not a new idea. The amendment was proposed back in 1789 by Founding Father James Madison along with other amendments that became the Bill of Rights, but it took 203 years for it to become the law of the land. In 1982, a college undergraduate student, Gregory Watson, discovered that the proposed amendment could still be ratified and started a grassroots campaign.
In 1992, Alabama became the 38th state to sign off on the 27th Amendment, making it a law. Read the rest of this entry