The following is my 7-point plan to reform Congress:
- TERM LIMITS
- END THE CONGRESSIONAL PENSION PROGRAM
- BALANCED BUDGET AMENDMENT
- LAWS PASSED BY CONGRESS MUST APPLY TO CONGRESS
- BILLS MUST CONTAIN ONE SUBJECT AT A TIME
- LIFETIME BAN ON CONGRESSMEN, SENATORS AND CABINET SECRETARIES FROM BECOMING LOBBYISTS
- REQUIRE A SUPER MAJORITY TO INCREASE TAXES
The most important Congressional reform that can be enacted is term limits for members of both the U.S. House of Representatives and the Senate. If term limits are enacted, then career politicians can be replaced with citizen legislators who better respond to the people who elected them. This is what our Founding Fathers envisioned for our nation.
I support imposing three terms in the House and two terms in the Senate. If I am honored to serve you in the People's House, the first piece of legislation that I will introduce is term limits for Congress members. I will also limit my terms in Congress, if I am elected.
END THE CONGRESSIONAL PENSION PROGRAM
Our country is almost $20 trillion in debt and everyday Americans struggle to make ends meet while Congress members receive a pension that takes care of them after they have left Congress. This is just another fiscal burden placed on hardworking Americans, many of whom do not have employer-paid pensions themselves. Taxpayers must not be made to foot the bill for Congress members’ pensions any longer.
I will support ending the defined-benefit pensions that members of Congress are currently eligible to receive. I will also decline to accept a pension as Congresswoman, if elected.
BALANCED BUDGET AMENDMENT
As our nation’s debt approaches $20 trillion, the burden is placed on the backs of our future generations. Washington, D.C. has become addicted to deficit spending. But, just like millions of Americans must balance their checkbooks and state governors and legislatures must balance their budgets, requiring the federal government to do the same is a must to rein in the out-of-control spending. Therefore, a constitutional amendment outlawing deficit spending is the central point of federal budget reform.
Floridians overwhelmingly agree that Congress must balance its budget. In 2010, a nonbinding referendum that asked whether Congress should add an amendment to the U.S. Constitution requiring a balanced federal budget without raising taxes was on the Florida ballot. The question passed with 71.90% of Floridians voting in favor. I agree with my fellow Floridians and will represent their will in Congress.
LAWS PASSED BY CONGRESS MUST APPLY TO CONGRESS
Congress should not be above the law. Our nation was founded as a Constitutional Republic and not as the type of government in which Congress members are the ruling class having the right to place itself above the law. Too often, Congress passes laws that burden everyday Americans while they exempt themselves from such laws. If the laws created were to apply equally to Congress members as it does to the citizens, then better laws would be created. Consequently, I support that laws passed by Congress must apply to Congress.
BILLS MUST CONTAIN ONE SUBJECT AT A TIME
Congress is in the habit of creating last minute crises to push for large, the-sky-is-falling bills in order to tag unrelated legislation unto it. Bills with too many pages to count are passed in a rush with very little time for Congress members to read them. This tactic is often utilized to strong-arm members into passing controversial legislation, pet projects, and favors for special interests. Such practice ends up costing tax payers up to trillions of dollars. If a Congress member’s bill is so great, then it should stand up to scrutiny, and he/she must have the ability to convince others why it’s a meritorious bill. This is the kind of transparency that I support.
LIFETIME BAN ON CONGRESSMEN, SENATORS AND CABINET SECRETARIES FROM BECOMING LOBBYISTS
Washington D.C. has become addicted to the revolving door that currently exists between Congress and special interests. Currently, there are only temporary restrictions on former members of Congress and Cabinet Secretaries becoming lobbyists. Placing a lifetime ban on Congressmen, Senators and Cabinet Secretaries from becoming lobbyists after leaving their positions will provide better representation for constituents and diminish the power of lobbying groups over our elected officials. The public’s confidence in Congress is at an all time low, and to restore confidence in our elected body, the People need to once again begin to feel represented in D.C. A lifetime ban suchnas the one I propose will attract the type of elected officials that will go to D.C. to serve instead of using their position for their own personal gain.
REQUIRE A SUPER MAJORITY TO INCREASE TAXES
There is wide a gap between individual taxpayers’ and special interest groups’ influence on Congress members’ decisions to tax and spend. Special interest groups have the time, money, and lobbyists working for them 24/7 on Capitol Hill, while the majority of taxpayers are too busy with their lives, jobs, and families to devote the necessary time and money to fight tax increases and government spending. Consequently, it is not astonishing to see how government spends more to benefit the special interests and passes on the burden to the taxpayers.
Requiring a supermajority vote in both the U.S. House and Senate to approve any tax increase before it could become law would better level the playing field between the citizens and special interests. Currently, there are 16 states that require a supermajority vote in their state legislatures for state taxes to be raised. The measures have been very effective in protecting millions of U.S. taxpayers from unnecessary state tax increases, and they are popular with taxpayers. It is time to protect ALL U.S. taxpayers from unnecessary tax increases at the federal level as well. With that said, I support requiring a supermajority to increase federal taxes.