Everyone knows Congress is less popular than, oh, EVERYTHING.
Heck, even COCKROACHES are more popular!
So, Congressional candidate Carl DeMaio proposes a bold Fix Congress First Act, full of ways to fix the problems with the institution that everyone loves to loathe.
Let’s take a look:
1) Enact a Read the Entire Bill Rule
How many Members of Congress actually read the bills they vote on? Probably none.
Too often, long and complex legislation is introduced and immediately voted on — without time for Members and the general public to read and understand what the bill contains. Carl DeMaio proposes to pass permanent rule for Congress requiring a 72-hour posting of all legislative language online prior to any vote being cast on the legislation. This will allow Members of Congress and the general public the time to digest and weigh in on laws before they are passed.
2) Reform Pensions and Health Benefits
Members of Congress already are paid $174,000 a year or more, and they get a ton of even more benefits just for being a Member – WAY more than the people they represent. Carl DeMaio wants to propose legislation to eliminate the Congressional pension program – and put Members of Congress in a basic 401(k) retirement account along with basic Social Security that the rest of us mere mortals have.
3) Cut the Perks: No Free Travel, No Gifts
On the City Council, Carl DeMaio self-imposed a ban on free travel and gifts. In stark contrast, many Members of Congress accept tens of thousands in expensive trips around the world and receive gifts from special interests trying to curry favor. Carl DeMaio will propose legislation to ban free travel from outside groups and gifts to Members of Congress.
Because we’d all rather be at the beach instead of the office…clearly.
4) No Budget, No Pay – For Real
Washington politicians talk the talk, but they don’t walk the walk.
Congress should do the job the American people elected it to do: pass a budget on time. If Congress can’t pass a budget on time, the Members of Congress should permanently forfeit their salary for each and every day they fail to pass a budget.
It’s, you know…their job.
5) Single Subject Rule: Stop the Special Interest Provisions
It happens all the time: special interests get powerful Members of Congress to insert special provisions in bills — even when the provisions have nothing to do with the topic of the bill itself. Congress can vote on a farm bill, but it may contain a bunch of provisions on completely unrelated issues. This practice has to stop, DeMaio says — and Congress should live under the single-subject rule that many state and local legislative bodies follow.
One law, one topic. Zing.
6) Prohibit Congressional Retaliation Against Whistleblowers
Whistleblowers are courageous humans who speak out against corruption, waste and fraud. Congress has passed laws providing whistleblowers with protections against retaliation — but it conveniently exempted itself. Carl DeMaio says that whistleblowers should be protected against retaliation no matter who they work for — including Congress.
7) Full Compliance with Workplace, Health, and Safety Laws
In 1995, Congress passed the first Congressional Accountability Act that applied some workplace, health, and safety laws to Congress, but still left ways out and provided little enforcement or reporting requirements. DeMaio thinks it’s time to finish the job, and force Congress to live under all of these same goshdarn laws that the rest of us have to live by.
8) Full Transparency: Apply Open Government Rules to Congress
One of the most powerful laws to promote transparency and accountability in government is the “open records” law called the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA). When Congress passed FOIA, it purposely exempted itself from the law.
Every American should be able to request public documents from Members of Congress – just as they can currently request public documents and records from federal departments and programs. Carl DeMaio wants to propose legislation to impose the FOIA “open records” law to Congress.
Because it’s kinda sickening otherwise.
9) Stop the Revolving Door: Place a Lifetime Ban on Members of Congress Becoming Lobbyists
People should be motivated to run for office because they believe in public service, not because they expect a big payoff when they leave office, right?
As it turns out, nearly half of all Senators and Representatives cash out to become lobbyists of powerful special interest groups once they leave office. A lifetime ban on lobbying for former Members of Congress is the only way to ensure that our elected representatives will make decisions in the best interest of the American people, instead of making decisions which will only serve to pay dividends for them once they leave office.
Who is this Carl DeMaio guy?
Check him out for yourself and learn more about his Fix Congress First plan: http://carldemaio.com/fixcongress