Currently, under the Amendment 27 to the U.S. Constitution, any change in congressional salaries, pay increase or decrease, can only be enacted after the beginning of the next term in office.
The point of the “Madison Amendment” was to make it less appealing for lawmakers to increase their own salaries, but the amendment also makes it impossible to “punish” lawmakers with pay decreases.
Barrow’s H.J. 33 would make it possible to cut the pay of Congressmen instantly.
“Unfortunately, in Washington there are rules that prevent members of Congress from being penalized for not doing their jobs. The Constitution doesn’t protect the pay of folks back home, so why should it protect the pay of members of Congress,” said Barrow on the House floor today. “The 27th amendment to the Constitution was written to prevent members of Congress from giving themselves pay increases but lately it’s been used as a shield to prevent a congressional pay-cut. My proposal, House Joint Resolution 33, would return the 27th amendment to its original intent and hold members of congress to the same standard as folks back home.”
The recently approved No Budget No Pay legislation withholds lawmakers’ pay if they don’t pass a budget by October 1 of every year. However, it still calls for release of the full pay before the next congressional session begins even if no budget was approved.
Barrow, who first introduced H.J. 33 on March 6th 2013, represents Georgia’s 12th congressional district.