House Republican Leader Proposes Unconstitutional Debt Ceiling Bill

Eric CantorEric Cantor, the Republican Majority Leader in the House of Representatives, has posted a message on his website that spells out the terms of his compromise debt ceiling legislation. It says…

“Next week, we will authorize a three month temporary debt limit increase to give the Senate and House time to pass a budget. Furthermore, if the Senate or House fails to pass a budget in that time, Members of Congress will not be paid by the American people for failing to do their job. No budget, no pay.”

There is one minor problem with that. It is a violation of the Constitution’s 27th Amendment which states that…

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

When alerted to his prospective breach of the law, Cantor’s office insisted that the plan complies with the Constitution because it does not change the rate of pay, it only defers payment. However, the law says nothing about “rate” of pay. It merely says that “varying” compensation is prohibited, and a deferment is unarguably a variance.

The GOP is constantly waving the Constitution in everyone’s face as if they have some sort of privileged relationship with it or its authors. What makes this all the more ludicrous is that when Republicans took control of the House in 2010 they initiated a childish procedure wherein they recite the entire document on the opening day of the session as a symbolic message that they will be conscious of what it says. That took place just last week, but it apparently did not help them to understand what’s in it.

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8 thoughts on “House Republican Leader Proposes Unconstitutional Debt Ceiling Bill

  1. Not surprised that Cantor did no research into the legitimacy of his proposal or whatever it is?.

    • It’s a gimmick – they have no guts themselves, we’re in this boat because of their irresponsibility too. People here debate like it matters, the people spoke in November – no budgets for 3 years don’t matter and neither does the deficit or debt – we’re wasting our time debating it. I say give the president a clean debt ceiling increase – the people spoke in November – just do the deed and if there are consequences, let them happen. We deserve what we get.

  2. Only the President can refuse to pay Congress in a budget crisis, not the House ^-^

  3. Even if it’s unconstitutional, I like the idea. But congress would never pass it. They have no guts.

    The republicans are okay shutting the gov’t down but won’t have it if their pay is threatened.

    • Are you suggesting someone isn’t doing their job? You’re right that they won’t risk endangering their own paychecks, the effect power has on people I guess – it’s much easier to make us suffer through government idiocy – and why anyone wonders why I have so little faith in government I’ll never understand.

      • The government is who you vote into it. In other words, you get what you pay for. Republicans are ok with shutting the government down. They are the only ones who are ever ok with that. I like my government, it’s the people the republicans vote to run it that I have issues with.

        Einsteins’ description of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results. And with the exception of the Clinton administration, republican administrations have been running this country into the ground since the 80′s. Their version of how to run this country has been proven over and over again to be ineffective to say the least, and borderline destructive to be frank.

        To answer your question, yes someone isn’t doing their job. And in case I wasn’t clear, I place the blame squarely on republicans shoulders. But they are doing what republicans have always done: cater to the privileged few and to hell with America.

        • Well, I’ll agree on some of your points. I’m not really sure what the Republican party stands for these days – but the people of this country gave this president a lock on the legislative branch in 2008 – and in 2010, they took it away – maybe the people don’t agree with your idea or feelings about government since they pretty much guaranteed grid lock for another 2 years.
          I think there is some validity on your belief that their version of running this country being destructive – they ran up bigger deficits than anyone, now the debt is to a point that paying for government is becoming more difficult – if it goes as I expect it will, all those progressive programs will stop sooner vs. later all because we can’t actually afford to finance it – I guess there is more than one way to skin a cat.

    • Yeah. I don’t get it, only a couple Senators don’t have an otherwise income of a million dollars outside of their Congressional pay… What do they care?

      Besides, if there really is a shutdown, they’ll not get paid, just like every other part of government.

      It’s a toothless grandstanding. The House can’t just declare unilaterally that something happen.

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