1. The Senators and Representatives shall receive a Compensation for their Services, to be ascertained by Law, and paid out of the Treasury of the United States.
Our members of Congress shall be paid for their service, as law may permit, and they shall be paid by the Federal government…not their respective states.^1
They shall in all Cases, except Treason, Felony and Breach of the Peace, be privileged from Arrest during their Attendance at the Session of their respective Houses,
Congressmen shall be exempt from being arrested while attending a session of their respective houses, except they can still be arrested for treason, felony, and breach of the peace. ^2
and in going to and returning from the same;
they are also exempt from arrest (with the same exception) while going to and from their house’s sessions.
and for any Speech or Debate in either House, they shall not be questioned in any other Place.
they are protected from being charged or arrested for anything they say in speech or debate on the floor of Congress. ^3
2. No Senator or Representative shall, during the Time for which he was elected, be appointed to any civil Office under the Authority of the United States which shall have been created,
No member of Congress, while still serving in Congress, shall be allowed to be appointed to, or accept, a government job that was created while that member is still serving in Congress
or the Emoluments whereof shall have been increased during such time;
also, if the government has approved an increase of pay or benefits for a government job while a Congressman is still serving in Congress, he may not be appointed to, or accept, that job while still serving in Congress.
and no Person holding any Office under the United States, shall be a Member of either House during his Continuance in Office.
and no person holding any government office under the United States, shall be allowed to serve in Congress while still serving in that government office. ^4
^1 The 27th Amendment amends this clause. The 27th Amendment prevents Congressional pay raises from taking effect until after the next Congressional elections. This clause clearly states who is to pay the members of the U.S. Congress…the federal government (Treasury), and not the individual states.
^2 Many people misunderstand this clause (or try to get people to misunderstand it, to Congressmen’s benefit). This clause protects members of Congress from arrest while in session, or while travelling to or from session. But outside of Congress (or while traveling to and from sessions) they are NOT exempt. It does not protect them from crimes they commit off the floor of Congress. They are also not protected at ANY time if they commit treason, a felony, or breach of peace.
Example: If one Senator punches another Senator over a hot debate on the floor of the Senate, he is exempt from arrest. But if he assaults a citizen (or even that same Senator) while off the floor of the Senate, he can be charged with assault. If he shoots and kills the Senator while on the floor of the Senate, he can be arrested, since murder is a felony.
Personally, I believe that at least 2/3 of today’s congressmen could probably be arrested for treasonous acts due to their actions and inactions that have placed our country at unnecessary risk and that were not in keeping with their oath. This same Constitution that I am dissecting plainly states that our representative shall swear an oath to “support the Constitution”.
If you do not believe many politicians today have committed treason, read their oath, then read the string of definitions I have laid out, starting with treason, then defining the words that define treason.
Every one of today’s U.S. Senators and Representatives has sworn this oath:
“I, ____________, do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; that I take this obligation freely, without any mental reservation or purpose of evasion; and that I will well and faithfully discharge the duties of the office on which I am about to enter. So help me God.”
Treason: Violation of allegiance to one’s country or sovereign (The American Heritage Dictionary, 2nd College Edition, 1982).
Allegiance: Loyalty to one’s country
Loyal: Faithful to one’s sovereign, government, or state; faithful to one’s oath, commitments, or obligations
Faithful: Worthy of trust or belief; reliable
TELL ME: HOW MANY OF TODAY’S POLITICIANS EPITOMIZE THESE DEFINITIONS?
If they are not reliable or trusted, then they are not FAITHFUL. If they are not faithful in their dealings with our country and its people, and not faithful to their oath , commitments, and obligations, then they are not LOYAL. If this lack of loyalty affects our country, then they are not ALLEGIANT to our country. If they are not allegiant to our country through their actions, then they have broken their oath of office where they swore to “support and defend the Constitution of the United States, ……..(and to) bear true FAITH and ALLEGIANCE to the same”.
Therefore, since they violated their allegiance, then they have committed TREASON.
^3 We all know that it can get down and dirty on the floors of the House and the Senate. Name-calling, swearing, throwing the proverbial mud on your opponents. Congressmen are protected from having their words that are spoken on the floors of Congress causing their arrest at a later time. But again, this clause does not protect them while not speaking on the floors of Congress.
^4 Sub-section 2 basically prevents Congress from creating jobs for themselves or raising the pay for a job, right when a Congressman steps into that job. It also prevents people with government jobs from being able to continue working that job while also serving as a Congressman, where they might influence the pay and benefits for that job.
Our founders were specific here. They prevented members of the U.S. Congress from holding U.S. government jobs while serving in Congress. They make no mention of any other type of job. I believe this goes on to strengthen my arguments that Congressional service was not meant by the founders to be a livelihood…one’s way of life. It was designed so that our Congressmen would continue holding their main wage-earning jobs while they also served as government representatives of the people. Otherwise, if they knew that politicians would be making their sole living from being a politician, why would they feel the need to mention any type of job.
© 2012 Ike Chisholm
All additional materials contained in this work are the ideas and works of the author. Use of these works is forbidden without the expressed permission from the author. The text of the Constitution is not copyrighted. It is not the author’s intent to claim the text of the Constitution as his own.