President Bush on Friday cleared the legal hurdle to Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton becoming the next secretary of state by signing a reduction in the job’s salary.
The Constitution bars someone from taking an office if that job’s salary was increased while the person was a sitting member of Congress. The salary was raised earlier this year from $186,600 to $191,300. It now remains at $186,600.
In Article I, section 6, the Constitution says: “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, or the emoluments whereof shall have been increased during such time.”
Congress passed a bill to reduce the salary and in a brief statement Friday White House Press Secretary Dana Perino said Mr. Bush had signed the measure.
Some groups have argued that reducing the salary alone does not solve the problem, since the Constitutional ban doesn’t talk about a specific dollar amount, but rather about the act of increasing a salary.
Stephen Dinan can be reached at email@example.com.
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