NO QUORUM MEANS NO LEGISLATION
Is the 115th CONGRESS putting SOCIAL SECURITY at RISK?
If you review the proposed budget, then, YES, they ARE. (They’re also taking away health coverage from over 24 Million of our Citizens, but that’s another story)
Fortunately, the present Congress does not have a quorum.
You read that correctly.
Because of a little-known amendment to the Constitution that was only recently discovered to have been ratified way back in 1792.
If you were to ask any of the present 435 Congresspersons in the House of Representatives WHY there are 435 voting House seats, I would wager that less than 10 could tell you “Why”.
When the Constitution was being drafted, to replace the “Articles of Confederation”, a bi-cameral (two-chambered) Legislative Branch was chosen – with a Senate, where all STATES were equally represented, and a House (“the PEOPLE’S House”), where, in theory, at least, all citizens were represented in equal proportion.
The original size of Congressional Districts was supposed to have been thirty thousand persons -amended down by unanimous voice vote from forty thousand persons before the Constitution was voted and signed, when no less than George Washington, about to become the first Constitutional President of the United States, pointed out that Delaware didn’t HAVE forty thousand persons. The engrossed copy originally read “forty thousand”, and, if you hold the vellum up to the light, you can see that it is thinner where “thirty thousand” appears – as, to erase iron gall ink from vellum required the text to be corrected literally be scraped off the page.
Apportionment was the most contentious issue during the discussions on Constitutional Amendments as the “Articles of Amendment” (“Bill of Rights”) were being drafted.
The most heated and vituperative language spoken in the Congress during the debates over the summer of 1789 was tied almost exclusively to this issue – apportionment – so much so that James Madison of Virginia was essentially threatened with physical harm by James Jackson of Georgia for Madison’s position limiting the size of the House.
Madison felt that an upper limit should be in place “that the grandeur of the office might not be diluted”. Jackson, however, pointed out that blood had been spilled to insure fair and equal representation across the population of the new Nation, and that he was welcome to add his own to that already spilled. He also threatened to take Madison outside and shoot him down like a mad dog – not an idle threat from a man who had charged British cannon on horseback with a single-shot pistol and a saber, and who later died from infection from his NINTH successful duel. The “Journals”, largely transcribed from Madison’s own notes, reference that “several desultory comments were noted to pass between the gentleman of Georgia and the gentleman of Virginia. Fellow Georgian William Few gave somewhat greater detail in his own journal.
The full remainder of the body of Congress agreed with Jackson, and Madison never publicly brought up limiting the size of the House, again.
When the Articles of Amendment were finally proposed and voted in the House, a last-minute change was to have altered the language from “less” to “more” IN THE LAST LINE BUT ONE.
We have Oliver Ellsworth’s own hand-written report, clearly defining the change that was to have been made, and where. Ellsworth led the committee of six Legislators tasked with providing the language for the final, approved twelve articles of the “Articles of Amendment” (The “Bill of Rights”)
The correct language increased the size of the house incrementally to a CEILING of fifty thousand persons per district, with a FLOOR of forty thousand persons, once a size of 200 representatives had been attained, through growth of the population. This was to insure that “We, the People”, were represented proportionally by population irrespective of what State we might be from.
Essentially, Article the First was a mathematical formula.
We have NOT followed that formula. A ratified amendment is not something we can choose to ignore…in fact, every single person presently serving took an oath to specifically protect and uphold this amendment, along with all others.
In essence, with each decennial census, the States were to receive notice (then, from the Secretary of State – now, from the Secretary of Commerce) of their apportionment for the next Congress to be seated after the census had been tabulated.
We began with thirty thousand persons per district. When the House had increased to 100 Representatives, thirty thousand became a “floor”, and forty thousand became the “ceiling”.
On reaching a size of 200 Representatives, the Congress was to have been EVER AFTER apportioned at a “floor” of forty thousand, and a “ceiling” of fifty thousand.
Fifty thousand persons per district.
The 435 persons in the House of Representatives is less than EIGHT PERCENT of what is supposed to be there. Even if they voted lock-step, they are a petty minority.
The amendment was ratified when Kentucky voted to do so in June of 1792. At that moment, the threshold of 75% was irreversibly surpassed – Kentucky, the fifteenth State, being the twelfth State to ratify Article the First.
Whatever fractional argument might have been made prior to that, 12 is always 75% of 15.
There are many things that CAN be done to make Social Security more solvent – indeed, Permanently Solvent. The intentions of the present Republican-Controlled Congress do NONE of those things.
Our Social Security Solvency Plan, illustrated in the past exhaustively, will be updated and posted here shortly (Been a little busy with the US District Court Case)
Want them stopped? I need your help – especially since I will be replacing MacArthur, author of the “Wealth Care” amendment to the Budget. Read about the impact of that HERE: