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East County Wednesday, Dec. 2, 2009 8 years ago

MY VIEW: How to fix Congress

by: E.F. (Gene) Sweeney

The Congressional Reform Act of 2009 would contain eight provisions, all of which would probably be strongly endorsed by those who drafted the Constitution and the Bill of Rights. 

I know many of you will say this is impossible. Let me remind you, Congress has the lowest approval of any entity in government. Now is the time when Americans will join together to reform Congress — the entity that represents us. 

We need a senator to introduce this bill in the Senate and a representative to introduce a similar bill in the House. Please add any ideas on how to get this done.

1. Term Limits: 12 years only, one of the possible options below:
a. Two six-year Senate terms
b. Six two-year House terms
c. One six-year Senate term and three two-year House terms

2.  No Tenure/No Pension:
A congressman collects a salary while in office and receives no pay when they are out of office. 

3.  Congress (past, present and future) participates in Social Security:
• All funds in the Congressional retirement fund moves to the Social Security system immediately. 
• All future funds flow into the Social Security system.
• Congress participates with the American people.

4. Congress can purchase their own retirement plan just like all Americans.

5. Congress members no longer will vote themselves a pay raise. Congressional pay will rise by the lower of CPI or 3%.

6. Congress members lose their current healthcare system and participate in the same healthcare system as the American people.

7. Congress must equally abide in all laws they impose on the American people.

8. All contracts with past and present congressmen are void effective Jan. 1, 2010. 

The American people did not make this contract with congressmen. Congressmen made all these contracts for themselves. Serving in Congress is an honor, not a career. The founding fathers envisioned citizen legislators who serve their term(s), then go home and back to work.

“I have sworn upon the altar of God eternal hostility against every form of tyranny over the mind of man.” — Thomas Jefferson

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