James Madison Papers

Power of Originating Money Bills in the Legislature, [13 June] 1787

Power of Originating
Money Bills in the Legislature

[13 June 1787]

Gerry moved to prohibit the Senate from originating money bills.

Mr. Madison observed that the Commentators on the Brit: Const: had not yet agreed on the reason of the restriction on the H. of L. in money bills. Certain it was there could be no similar reason in the case before us. The Senate would be the representatives of the people as well as the 1st. branch. If they sd. have any dangerous influence over it, they would easily prevail on some member of the latter to originate the bill they wished to be passed. As the Senate would be generally a more capable sett of men, it wd. be wrong to disable them from any preparation of the business, especially of that which was most important, and in our republics, worse prepared than any other. The Gentleman in pursuance of his principle ought to carry the restraint to the amendment, as well as the originating of money bills, since, an addition of a given sum wd. be equivalent to a distinct proposition of it.

Ms (DLC).

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