The founders created the Senate to be the legislative body that represented the states, while the House of Representatives represented the people. These two bodies were designed to
provide checks and balances between the legislative branch and the executive branch while also providing checks and balances between the federal government and the states.
The same progressive philosophy that prevailed during the Wilson era, that produced the Income Tax Amendment and the Federal Reserve, also produced the 17th Amendment in 1913. This Amendment took from the state legislatures the right to choose their two Senators, and let the people of the state choose their Senators in a state-wide election.
What’s wrong with the people choosing their own Senators? For starters, this amendment strips power from the states, which ultimately strengthens the federal government. This Amendment removes an important check and balance between the federal government and the states. This Amendment completely removes the states from participation in the:
- approval of federal legislation;
- approval of executive appointments for cabinet positions and federal judges;
- ratification of international treaties; and
- judgment in all matters of impeachment.
Moreover, state-wide election of Senators seriously reduces the accountability Senators have to their constituents. Representatives are accountable to the people in their District; Senators have a much larger pool of voters to woo, and can afford to offend far more people than can Representatives. And they do!
Because the 17th Amendment was adopted; the federal government has lost all respect for the wishes of the states. Unfunded mandates would never have occurred had the 17th Amendment never been adopted. It’s time to correct this mistake by repealing it.