WASHINGTON—U.S. Congresswoman Stephanie Murphy, D-Fla., along with U.S. Rep. Brian Fitzpatrick, R-Pa., reintroduced bipartisan legislation to hold Members of Congress accountable to the American people. H.R. 8305, the Foster Accountability, Integrity, Trust, and Honor (FAITH) in Congress Act, would end certain special perks reserved for Members of Congress, enact a lifetime ban preventing former Members of Congress from becoming lobbyists, and withhold paychecks if Members fail to pass a budget on time. The bill also promotes bipartisanship in Congress by requiring House leadership to prioritize legislation that has bipartisan support when making decisions on which bills to bring up for a vote. According to recent polls, only 21 percent of Americans approve of the job Congress is doing, and a majority of Americans said they want political leaders in Washington to compromise in order to get things done.
“Members of Congress were sent to Washington to serve the people who elected them, not to set themselves up for a lucrative gig or line up their pockets while refusing to do their jobs,” said Murphy. “This bipartisan bill would restore public trust in government by ending a culture in Washington that rewards incompetence and making Congress more efficient and accountable to taxpayers. It’s time for Members of Congress put the American people’s lives and livelihoods over their own self-interest.”
“My first act as a Member of Congress in 2017 was to introduce a package of bills and constitutional amendments to reform our government, prevent corruption before it takes root, and return power to those whom this government belongs: the American people. I did the same thing on the first day of the 116th Congress, and I did not make many friends in the Washington establishment on either day,” said Fitzpatrick. “I believe that passing these common-sense, bipartisan reforms is the first step towards restoring the essential trust between the American people and Congress.”
The FAITH in Congress Act would:
• Enact a lifetime ban preventing former Members of Congress from becoming lobbyists;
• Freeze congressional salaries at their current level by repealing automatic “pay adjustments” for Members of Congress and require them to vote on the record before any pay increase could take effect;
• Ban first-class travel at taxpayer expense for Members of Congress;
• Codify “No Budget, No Pay,” prohibiting Members of Congress from collecting a salary if they fail to approve a budget and all federal appropriations bills on time; and,
• Promote bipartisanship by amending the House rules to require that any bill brought to the floor must demonstrate meaningful bipartisan support.
The full text of the Faith in Congress Act can be found here.