U.S. Representatives Stephanie Murphy, D-Fla., and Brian Fitzpatrick, R-Pa., introduced bipartisan legislation today to hold Members of Congress accountable to the American people. H.R. 5946, the Fostering Accountability, Integrity, Trust, and Honor (FAITH) in Congress Act, would end special perks reserved for Members of Congress, enact a lifetime ban preventing former Members of Congress from becoming lobbyists, and withhold Members’ paychecks if they 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 deciding which bills to bring up for a vote. Murphy called the FAITH in Congress Act a necessary step to rebuild the American people’s trust in Congress.
“Members of Congress should be working for the people who sent them there, not lining their own pockets or refusing to do their jobs,” said Murphy. “My bill would hold Members of Congress accountable to the American people by reducing the power of special interests, promoting bipartisanship, rolling back congressional perks, and forcing them to do their jobs or they don’t get paid. If we’re going to change Washington, we’ve got to change how Washington works.”
“As a former FBI Special Agent in the Political Corruption Unit, I understand the crucial importance of clean government and anti-corruption efforts to maintaining the trust between every American citizen and their government officials,” said Fitzpatrick. “I believe that passing these common-sense reforms are 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 appropriations bills on time; and,
- Promote bipartisanship by prohibiting House leadership from bringing any bill to the floor that lacks meaningful bipartisan support. The House Rules Committee could waive this bipartisanship requirement, but it would require an on-the-record vote to do so.
According to recent polls, only 13 percent of Americans approve of the job Congress is doing, and a majority of Americans said they want political leaders in Washington to work together in order to get things done. Murphy’s bill seeks to rebuild the public’s faith in our democratic institutions by making Congress more efficient and accountable to taxpayers.
Click here to watch Murphy’s floor speech introducing her bill.