previous
next

§ 249. “Increase Any Charge or Burden on the People.”

The Senate may not amend any proposed law so as to increase any proposed charge or burden on the people. This provision may be described as a limitation on the reserved power of the Senate to amend money bills, other than tax bills and annual appropriation bills. Seeing that the Senate cannot amend a bill imposing taxation, it may be naturally asked—how can the Senate possibly amend a proposed law so as to increase any proposed charge or burden on the people? The answer is that the Senate is only forbidden to amend tax bills and the annual appropriation bill; it may amend two kinds of expenditure bills, viz.: those for permanent and extraordinary appropriations. If the Senate could propose an increase in the amount of money to be spent in a public work bill — say from one million sterling to two millions sterling—that amendment would necessitate increased taxation in order to give effect to it, and consequently an addition to the burdens and charges on the people. The Senate may amend such money bills so as to reduce the total amount of expenditure or to change the method, object, and destination of the expenditure, but not to increase the total expenditure originated in the House of Representatives.

previous
next