WASHINGTON, D.C?—?Congressman Brian Fitzpatrick (PA-08) was officially sworn into office as United States Representative for Pennsylvania’s Eight District Tuesday afternoon and introduced a package of anti-corruption legislation intended to significantly reform Congress.
“It is an honor to have been elected to serve the people of Bucks and Montgomery counties as their representative in the 115th Congress. I look forward to serving as their independent voice in Washington at a time when hardworking citizens are too often left without one due to a broken system,” said Fitzpatrick. “That is why my first official act as our community’s Representative is 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.”
“Introducing these measures on my very first day won’t earn me many friends among Washington’s elite insiders, but…I will push vehemently for consideration of, and votes on, these ideas”
“Introducing these measures on my very first day won’t earn me many friends among Washington’s elite insiders, but their introduction alone cannot?—?and will not?—?be the end. I will push vehemently for consideration of, and votes on, these ideas because I believe they transcend political parties and strike at the heart of what our country needs: a rebirth of belief in our leaders and institutions so we can tackle the challenges we face and accomplish great things in this new era.”
The three Constitutional amendments and one bill come following months of effort and discussion by Fitzpatrick who stressed the importance of reforming government.
Included in the package:
Term Limits for Members of Congress (Constitutional amdt.)
Limits members of the House of Representatives and Senate to 12 years of service total
No Budget, No Pay (Constitutional amdt.)
Prevents members of Congress from being paid unless a budget is passed. Goes further than previous iterations of No Budget, No Pay by docking pay for time without a budget as opposed to simply putting member salaries in escrow until end of term.
Balanced Budget Amendment (Constitutional amdt.)
Requires Congress to adopt a budget that balances like most states, including Pennsylvania, and municipalities
Citizen Legislature Anti-Corruption Reform (CLEAN) Act (H.R 145)
o Ends Congressional “pensions for life” and directs members toward standard 401K retirement savings accounts
o Requires Congress to act on single-issue legislation
o Codifies that all laws passed by Congress must apply to its members
o Reforms the broken “Gerrymandering” process by moving all redistricting to independent, non-partisan commissions
o Allows access to political party primaries for Independents or non-affiliated voters
Prior to his swearing-in, one of Fitzpatrick’s first actions was to stands up against the establishment and vocally oppose, including voting against, changes to the Office of Congressional Ethics (OCE) inside the House Republican Conference meeting. Tuesday, he informed leadership we would vote against the Rules package if it included the changes; the changes to the OCE were removed shortly after.
“As a former FBI anti-corruption agent who put politicians behind bars, I know that politicians can’t be trusted to police themselves; an aggressive, independent watch dog is crucial,” added Fitzpatrick. “It’s obvious there is work that must be done to reform Congress- including its ethics procedures, but these changes should be holistic in addressing the problems, bipartisan in their implementation, and meet the high standards the American people deserve.”