XXIX Amendment to the Constitution of the United States of America

Auggie

Active member
Amendment XXIX

Section 1.

Members of the House of Representatives shall be chosen every third year. There shall be at least five representatives in any State.

Section 2.

There shall be six senators per State, chosen for a term of six years, by the people thereof; and each senator shall have one vote. Following the enactment of this section, and at the next election, all senators shall be elected for a term of six years. At the expiration of said term, the senators shall be divided into two classes. The seats of the senators of the first class shall be vacated at the expiration of the third year; and of the second class at the expiration of the sixth year; so that one-half of the senators shall be chosen every three years.

Section 3.

Congress shall not pass a bill appropriating money from the Treasury except with the concurrence of two-thirds of both Houses, unless such appropriations have first been recommended by the President, and estimated for by the executive departments of Government and submitted to Congress by the President. Congress shall not amend any such appropriations recommended by the President except by a vote of two-thirds of both Houses. But, the Houses of Congress may at any time make recommendations for the amendment of any such appropriations and the President may consider any or all such recommendations and may, according to his discretion, resubmit estimates or refuse any of the recommendations proposed by Congress.

Section 4.

The bill appropriating money to carry on the executive government shall be passed by 1 October each calendar year. If Congress fails to pass said bill by midnight on 1 October, the Treasury shall cease to appropriate monies for the salaries, benefits or allowances of all members of Congress for each day that the said bill is not passed. The Treasury shall likewise continue disbursing monies to carry on the executive government in accordance with the preceding year's appropriation bill until the new bill is passed.

Section 5.

Every bill or resolution having the force of law shall deal with but one subject and that shall be expressed in the title. Any provision not related to the subject of the bill shall have no effect. A bill appropriating money shall deal only with appropriation and any other matters shall have no legal effect. A bill raising revenue shall deal only with the raising of revenue and any other matters shall have no effect.

Section 6.

The President may approve or disapprove any appropriation or line-item of appropriation in the same bill, and such disapprovals shall be submitted to Congress, and the same proceedings shall be had in the case of any Bill returned by the President; and Congress may consider all or any of the disapproved items returned by the President.
 

SethBullock

Moderator
Staff member
Amendment XXIX

Section 1.

Members of the House of Representatives shall be chosen every third year. There shall be at least five representatives in any State.


Why a minimum of 5? As it is, each state gets a minimum of 1 representative to the House. The rest are apportioned according to population. I wouldn't mind having the representatives serve a single 3-year term, with one third of the House being elected each year. That way, the whole House wouldn't turn over every 3rd year.

Section 2.

There shall be six senators per State, chosen for a term of six years, by the people thereof; and each senator shall have one vote. Following the enactment of this section, and at the next election, all senators shall be elected for a term of six years. At the expiration of said term, the senators shall be divided into two classes. The seats of the senators of the first class shall be vacated at the expiration of the third year; and of the second class at the expiration of the sixth year; so that one-half of the senators shall be chosen every three years.
A senator represents the whole state. Why would it take more than two senators to do that? I favor repealing the 17th Amendment. Prior to the 17th, Senators were elected by a state's legislature. Why do I favor that?

1) It would take campaign contributions to individual senators out of the equation.
2) Senators would be beholden only to the interests of their state and their state's legislature.
3) Voters would still be close to the selection of their senators, only one step removed, since they elect their state legislatures by popular vote.

Section 3.

Congress shall not pass a bill appropriating money from the Treasury except with the concurrence of two-thirds of both Houses, unless such appropriations have first been recommended by the President, and estimated for by the executive departments of Government and submitted to Congress by the President. Congress shall not amend any such appropriations recommended by the President except by a vote of two-thirds of both Houses. But, the Houses of Congress may at any time make recommendations for the amendment of any such appropriations and the President may consider any or all such recommendations and may, according to his discretion, resubmit estimates or refuse any of the recommendations proposed by Congress.
This places too much power in the hands of the President. As it is, as the head of the Executive Branch, the role of the President is to carry out the laws passed by Congress. That's what the Executive Branch does. The President may veto any bill, after which negotiations with the President may resolve differences, or the Congress may override the veto.

Section 4.

The bill appropriating money to carry on the executive government shall be passed by 1 October each calendar year. If Congress fails to pass said bill by midnight on 1 October, the Treasury shall cease to appropriate monies for the salaries, benefits or allowances of all members of Congress for each day that the said bill is not passed. The Treasury shall likewise continue disbursing monies to carry on the executive government in accordance with the preceding year's appropriation bill until the new bill is passed.
I could agree with this, adding that the salaries and benefits withheld from Congress shall not be paid back retroactively when a budget is finally passed. This would apply only to Congress, not their staffs. If the President vetoes the bill, I would give them one month from the date of the veto to resolve its differences or override the veto before cancelling their salaries and benefits.

Section 5.

Every bill or resolution having the force of law shall deal with but one subject and that shall be expressed in the title. Any provision not related to the subject of the bill shall have no effect. A bill appropriating money shall deal only with appropriation and any other matters shall have no legal effect. A bill raising revenue shall deal only with the raising of revenue and any other matters shall have no effect.
Agree.

Section 6.

The President may approve or disapprove any appropriation or line-item of appropriation in the same bill, and such disapprovals shall be submitted to Congress, and the same proceedings shall be had in the case of any Bill returned by the President; and Congress may consider all or any of the disapproved items returned by the President.
So what you're saying is that the President could sign an appropriations bill into law, while crossing out certain items. Then Congress could resend those items to the President if they chose to. If the President vetoed those items, the Congress could override the President's veto if it so decided. Right?

I don't really disagree with that because it still leaves the ultimate decision in the hands of the Congress.
 

DonDeeHippy

Active member
hy a minimum of 5? As it is, each state gets a minimum of 1 representative to the House. The rest are apportioned according to population. I wouldn't mind having the representatives serve a single 3-year term, with one third of the House being elected each year. That way, the whole House wouldn't turn over every 3rd year.
Just checked and 7 states with under 1 million people and the lowest under 600,000 does seam a bit to much to have 5 representatives.
A Wyoming senator representing 120,000 people while a Californian one would represent 5,000,000

I like the staggered idea as well. Could they coincide with state elections be a bit more efficient as well...
 

Auggie

Active member
Why a minimum of 5? As it is, each state gets a minimum of 1 representative to the House. The rest are apportioned according to population. I wouldn't mind having the representatives serve a single 3-year term, with one third of the House being elected each year. That way, the whole House wouldn't turn over every 3rd year.
I got this idea from our Constitution. Having a minimum of 5 members means that the other States are likely to be apportioned representatives more accurately. In addition, it means that all the power of one State isn't held by one person.

A senator represents the whole state. Why would it take more than two senators to do that? I favor repealing the 17th Amendment. Prior to the 17th, Senators were elected by a state's legislature. Why do I favor that?


1) It would take campaign contributions to individual senators out of the equation.
2) Senators would be beholden only to the interests of their state and their state's legislature.
3) Voters would still be close to the selection of their senators, only one step removed, since they elect their state legislatures by popular vote.
Having more senators means that there's a greater chance of third parties being represented, particularly if a proportional voting system is introduced.

This places too much power in the hands of the President. As it is, as the head of the Executive Branch, the role of the President is to carry out the laws passed by Congress. That's what the Executive Branch does. The President may veto any bill, after which negotiations with the President may resolve differences, or the Congress may override the veto.
The amendment doesn't allow Congress to introduce or make amendments to appropriations (unless two-thirds agree to do so). It only allows them a yes/no vote.

Why should Congress (or more practically, the Chairman of the Appropriations Committee) determine where the money goes. It's the Executive Branch which should determine where that money is spent in the interest of the country.

Congress can then vote yes or no to the appropriations. Don't forget that they still have pass the bill, they just can't amend it unless a supermajority agree.

This amendment would significantly reduce pork-barrell spending and actual result in less debt and deficit.

I could agree with this, adding that the salaries and benefits withheld from Congress shall not be paid back retroactively when a budget is finally passed. This would apply only to Congress, not their staffs. If the President vetoes the bill, I would give them one month from the date of the veto to resolve its differences or override the veto before cancelling their salaries and benefits.
Yes, that is a good point - those monies cannot be paid retroactively.

So what you're saying is that the President could sign an appropriations bill into law, while crossing out certain items. Then Congress could resend those items to the President if they chose to. If the President vetoed those items, the Congress could override the President's veto if it so decided. Right?

I don't really disagree with that because it still leaves the ultimate decision in the hands of the Congress.
Correct.
 

SethBullock

Moderator
Staff member
I got this idea from our Constitution. Having a minimum of 5 members means that the other States are likely to be apportioned representatives more accurately. In addition, it means that all the power of one State isn't held by one person.
There are only 535 seats in Congress. If each state got 6 senators and a minimum of 5 representatives, that would be 550 members of Congress. On top of that, you would have to add more representatives for the more populous states. I think a minimum of one and apportionment by population for the rest is appropriate.

Having more senators means that there's a greater chance of third parties being represented, particularly if a proportional voting system is introduced.
Since senators are elected by a statewide vote, they usually vote in two Republicans or two Democrats. If there were 6 seats, they would probably vote in 6 Republicans or 6 Democrats. If you made a law that prevented the Republicans and Democrats from running more than one candidate, then the third parties would get in only because of that law, not because they were truly popular and wanted by the state's voters.

Why should Congress (or more practically, the Chairman of the Appropriations Committee) determine where the money goes. It's the Executive Branch which should determine where that money is spent in the interest of the country.
No, I disagree. As imperfect as Congress may be, I think it is the people's representatives who should decide how their money is spent, not a president. Our system deliberately weakens the power of the president. Our Founders did not want too much power granted to the Executive. The primary role of the Executive Branch is to simply carry out the laws passed by Congress, the representatives of the people.

This amendment would significantly reduce pork-barrell spending and actual result in less debt and deficit.
I think term limits would put a damper on pork barrel spending because members of Congress would be free to just do the right thing for the country rather than the best thing for their reelection. Additionally, your idea of the line item veto would help with that, as well as your idea of not allowing unrelated spending in a bill meant for another purpose.

And if you really want to stop pork barrel spending, we pass a Balanced Budget Amendment.
 

Auggie

Active member
There are only 535 seats in Congress. If each state got 6 senators and a minimum of 5 representatives, that would be 550 members of Congress. On top of that, you would have to add more representatives for the more populous states. I think a minimum of one and apportionment by population for the rest is appropriate.
I think for a country like America with more than 300 million people, there should over 1000 representatives.

Since senators are elected by a statewide vote, they usually vote in two Republicans or two Democrats. If there were 6 seats, they would probably vote in 6 Republicans or 6 Democrats. If you made a law that prevented the Republicans and Democrats from running more than one candidate, then the third parties would get in only because of that law, not because they were truly popular and wanted by the state's voters.
Not if you implement proportional representation.

No, I disagree. As imperfect as Congress may be, I think it is the people's representatives who should decide how their money is spent, not a president. Our system deliberately weakens the power of the president. Our Founders did not want too much power granted to the Executive. The primary role of the Executive Branch is to simply carry out the laws passed by Congress, the representatives of the people.
What if it's Congress that has too much power? The best branch to call for money is the executive branch. Congress then votes on the proposal and can make recommendations to the President who can then alter them. Ultimately, the President is going to have to compromise if he/she wants the budget passed. The key difference is where estimates are coming from - in most cases, they're to fund executive agencies or government policies, which derive from the Executive branch.
 

SethBullock

Moderator
Staff member
I think for a country like America with more than 300 million people, there should over 1000 representatives.
Why? What are trying to fix?

Not if you implement proportional representation.
So let's say a state is 60-40 Democrat. You would get 4 Democrats and 2 Republicans?

What if it's Congress that has too much power? The best branch to call for money is the executive branch. Congress then votes on the proposal and can make recommendations to the President who can then alter them. Ultimately, the President is going to have to compromise if he/she wants the budget passed. The key difference is where estimates are coming from - in most cases, they're to fund executive agencies or government policies, which derive from the Executive branch.
Congress is comprised of the People's representatives that they elected. The power of the Congress is supposed to be the power of the People. I would be very reluctant to diminish the power of the Congress and to, instead, consolidate it in the presidency.

The Executive Branch already can make budget proposals, and the President has the power of the veto. But ultimately, Congress, the People's representatives, decides.

Auggie, I sense that you're seeing problems that need fixing, but I believe that the root problem with Congress is careerism and the corruption of campaign money. Those factors encourage partisanism and timidity rather than independence and courage.

If you would, please listen to Sen. Ben Sasse talk about this. It was during the Kavanaugh hearings. It's just under 12 minutes, but he absolutely hits the nail on the head.

 

Auggie

Active member
Why? What are trying to fix?
Proper representation of people. If there should be a representative for every 30,000 persons then that would mean +1000 representatives.

The constitution says there should be one representative for every 30,000 persons but Congress capped the number at 435. Why?

So let's say a state is 60-40 Democrat. You would get 4 Democrats and 2 Republicans?
Correct. That's how proportional representation works.

Congress is comprised of the People's representatives that they elected. The power of the Congress is supposed to be the power of the People. I would be very reluctant to diminish the power of the Congress and to, instead, consolidate it in the presidency.

The Executive Branch already can make budget proposals, and the President has the power of the veto. But ultimately, Congress, the People's representatives, decides.

Auggie, I sense that you're seeing problems that need fixing, but I believe that the root problem with Congress is careerism and the corruption of campaign money. Those factors encourage partisanism and timidity rather than independence and courage.

If you would, please listen to Sen. Ben Sasse talk about this. It was during the Kavanaugh hearings. It's just under 12 minutes, but he absolutely hits the nail on the head.
Even though the President is directly-elected by the people to represent a national constituency?

Careerism is a problem but you also need to think of a political system like an engine - there are various working parts to that machine and each one has an impact on the other.

Constitutions and systems also can regulate behaviour of actors within that system. I think that Congress has too much power with regard to the power of the purse.
 

johnsmith

Moderator
Staff member
Proper representation of people. If there should be a representative for every 30,000 persons then that would mean +1000 representatives.

representation of the people is a furphy, a con.

politicians typically don't represent the people that voted for them, they represent the donors. Until you ban ALL political donations, you'll never have true representation
 

DonDeeHippy

Active member
Proper representation of people. If there should be a representative for every 30,000 persons then that would mean +1000 representatives.

The constitution says there should be one representative for every 30,000 persons but Congress capped the number at 435. Why?
11,000 representatives for 1 every 30,000 people....
1300 senators just for California.......
 
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