Article 1, Section 7, Clause 1
[Volume 2, Page 383]
Luther Martin, Genuine Information1788Storing 2.4.49--52
The seventh section of this article was also the subject of contest--It was thought by many members of the convention, that it was very wrong to confine the origination of all revenue bills to the house of representatives, since the members of the senate will be chosen by the people as well as the members of the house of delegates, if not immediately, yet mediately, being chosen by the members of the State legislature, which members are elected by the people, and that it makes no real difference whether we do a thing in person, or by a deputy, or agent, appointed by us for that purpose.
That no argument can be drawn from the House of Lords in the British constitution, since they are neither mediately nor immediately the representatives of the people, but are one of the three estates, composing that kingdom, having hereditary right and privileges, distinct from, and independent of, the people.
That it may, and probably will be a future source of dispute and controversy between the two branches, what are, or are not revenue bills, and the more so, as they are not defined in the constitution; which controversies may be difficult to settle, and may become serious in their consequences, [there] being no power in the constitution to decide upon, or authorised in cases of absolute necessity to terminate them by a prorogation or dissolution of either of the branches; a remedy provided in the British constitution, where the King has that power, which has been found necessary at times to be exercised in case of violent dissentions between the Lords and Commons on the subject of money bills.
That every regulation of commerce; every law relative to excises, stamps, the post-office, the imposing of taxes, and their collection, the creation of courts and offices; in fine, every law for the union, if enforced by any pecuniary sanctions, as they would tend to bring money into the continental treasury, might and no doubt would be considered a revenue act--That consequently the senate, the members of whom will it may be presumed, be the most select in their choice, and consist of men the most enlightened, and of the greatest abilities, who from the duration of their appointment and the permanency of their body, will probably be best acquainted with the common concerns of the States, and with the means of providing for them, will be rendered almost useless as a part of the legislature; and that they will have but little to do in that capacity, except patiently to wait the proceedings of the house of representatives, and afterwards examine and approve, or propose amendments.
Storing, Herbert J., ed. The Complete Anti-Federalist. 7 vols. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1981.
© 1987 by The University of Chicago