WASHINGTON, D.C.—Today, January 3rd, 2021, Congressman Brian Fitzpatrick (PA-01) introduced a sweeping legislative package that would significantly reform Congress and restore faith in our elections.
“I believe that these ideas introduced today transcend political parties and strike at the heart of what our country needs: a rebirth of belief in our leaders and our institutions,” said Fitzpatrick. “Our country faces so many challenges, but I am confident that if my colleagues work together with me to adopt these critical reforms, we can restore faith and confidence in our institutions, which is severely lacking right now.”
The three Constitutional amendments and four bills follow Fitzpatrick’s career as a former FBI Special Agent who oversaw the FBI’s Political Corruption Unit.
Included in the package:
- Limits congressional terms to twelve years combined in both chambers, six two-year terms in the House, or two six-year terms in the Senate.
- Prevents members of Congress from being paid if Congress fails to pass a budget or allows a lapse in appropriations.
- 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 the end of the term.
- This measure requires complete forfeiture.
- Requires Congress to adopt a budget that balances like most states, including Pennsylvania, and municipalities.
- Requires Congress to act on single-issue legislation
- Codifies that all laws passed by Congress must apply to its members
- Reforms the broken “Gerrymandering” process by moving all redistricting to independent, non-partisan commissions
- Allows access to political party primaries for Independents or non-affiliated voters
- Ends Congressional pensions
- Establishes uniform standards for absentee voting in federal elections and promotes timely reporting of election results
- Mail-in ballots must be returned and received by the time polls close on Election Day
- Mandatory signature match
- Mail-in ballots received prior to the date of the election shall be counted beginning at least one week prior to the date of the election.
- Voter ID - Every voter must show a photo ID to vote and states shall provide each registered voter an ID free of charge if the voter faces financial challenges.
- National deconfliction database – Assist states in ensuring that individual voters are registered only in the one State in which they are domiciled, deceased voters are purged from voting rolls and only citizens of the United States vote.
- Parity for in-person and mail-in voting – Signature match and verification, prepaid costs, subsidies for methods of voting
- Standard procedures across all counties/jurisdictions in States – Standardized and uniform for all jurisdictions in a State including for curing defective ballots
“This reform package is not political and should not be controversial. Every legislator in America at the federal, state, and local level should be on record as to whether they support these reforms,” said Fitzpatrick. “If not, they should be asked to explain why.”