The Origination Clause

Article I, Section 7, clause 1 provides that “[a]all bills for raising revenue shall originate in the House of Representatives; but the Senate may propose or concur with amendments as on other Bills.”  This rule was carried over from the practice in Parliament, though in a much weaker form.  The Glorious Revolution established a constitutional custom that the House of Lords could not propose or concur with amendments to revenue bills from the House of Commons.  When the Lords rejected that limitation in in the early twentieth century, the threat of Lords-packing was used to end their absolute veto over all legislation.  (Under the current version of the Parliament Act, revenue bills are still privileged — the Lords can delay all other legislation for up to a year but can only hold up revenue bills for a month.)  Imagine a world when the House of Representatives had exclusive power over taxes and spending!

Gerard Magliocca

Gerard N. Magliocca is the Samuel R. Rosen Professor at the Indiana University Robert H. McKinney School of Law. Professor Magliocca is the author of three books and over twenty articles on constitutional law and intellectual property. He received his undergraduate degree from Stanford, his law degree from Yale, and joined the faculty after two years as an attorney at Covington and Burling and one year as a law clerk for Judge Guido Calabresi on the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit. Professor Magliocca has received the Best New Professor Award and the Black Cane (Most Outstanding Professor) from the student body, and in 2008 held the Fulbright-Dow Distinguished Research Chair of the Roosevelt Study Center in Middelburg, The Netherlands. He was elected to the American Law Institute (ALI) in 2013.

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2 Responses

  1. Unfortunately, we can merely imagine a world where all revenue bills orginate in the House, too, since current practice is for the Senate to originate revenue bills, and then put House bill numbers on them.

  2. Gerard Magliocca says:

    Indeed. One of many parts of the Constitution that are ignored now.