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Twenty-seventh Amendment to the United States Constitution

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Amendment XXVII (the Twenty-seventh Amendment) of the United States Constitution states:
No law, varying the compensation for the services of the Senators and Representatives, shall take effect, until an election of Representatives shall have intervened.

Interpretation and history

This amendment states that any change in the salary of members of Congress shall take effect only after the next election. It is intended as a restraint on the power of Congress to set its own salary - a potentially dangerous situation.

This was one of the twelve originally proposed amendments in 1789, ten of which became the United States Bill of Rights, and the other Unratified Amendment Twelve.

When first proposed, it was ratified by only six states (out of eleven needed), and it was rejected by five states. Forgotten for decades, the proposed amendment lay comatose until the 1980s when a political aide rediscovered the proposal. The push for ratification began in earnest, and it officially joined the Constitution on May 7, 1992 when Michigan became the 38th state to ratify it. The validity of this ratification has been called into question.

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