27th Amendment to the United States Constitution


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27th Amendment (Amendment XXVII)


What Does it Say?


No law, varying the compensation for the services for the Senators and Representatives, shall take effect, until an election of Representatives shall have intervened.


What Does it Mean?


The 27th Amendment declares that the salaries of members of Congress cannot be changed until after the next election. This amendment was intended prevent such members of Congress from setting their own salaries, which could be viewed as an abuse of power or as a conflict of interest. Believe it or not, this amendment was originally proposed in 1789! Today, five states still have not ratified this amendment including New York and Pennsylvania.