Congressional Reform Act of 2011

This is something I will fight for      and  I hope you all read it all the way through.  You will be      glad you did. 

The 26th amendment (granting      the right to vote for 18 year-olds) took only 3 months & 8 days to be      ratified!  Why?  Simple!  The people  demanded      it.  That was in 1971…before computers, before e-mail, before cell      phones, etc.

 

Of  the 27 amendments      to the Constitution, seven (7) took 1 year or less to become the law of      the  land…all because of public      pressure.

I’m  asking each      addressee to forward this email to a minimum of twenty people on      their address list;  in turn ask each of those to do      likewise.

In 3 days, most people in      The  United States of America        will have the message.  This is one idea that really should be passed      around.

Congressional Reform Act of  2011   

1.   No Tenure /      No Pension.

    A       Congressman collects a salary while in office and receives no pay when      they are out of      office. 

2.   Congress      (past, present & future) participates in Social      Security.

    All funds      in the Congressional retirement fund move to the Social Security system      immediately.  All  future              funds flow into the Social Security system, and Congress participates with      the American people.  It may not be     used for any      other  purpose.

3. Congress can purchase      their own retirement plan, just as all Americans      do.

4. Congress will no longer      vote themselves a pay raise.  Congressional pay will rise by the      lower of CPI or 3%.

5. Congress loses their      current health care system and participates in the same health care system      as the American people.

6. Congress must equally      abide by all laws they impose on the American      people.

7. All contracts with past      and present Congressmen are void effective 1/1/12.    The American people did      not make this contract with Congressmen.  Congressmen made all these      contracts for themselves.   Serving in Congress is an honor, not      a career.  The  Founding Fathers envisioned citizen legislators,      so ours should serve their term(s), then go home and back to      work.

If each person contacts a      minimum of twenty people then it will only take three days for most      people (in the  U.S. ) to receive the message.  Maybe it is      time.

THIS IS HOW YOU FIX      CONGRESS!!!!!

If  you agree with the      above, pass it on.   If not, just      delete.

Congressional junkets picking up steam

Congressional junkets picking up steam

(U.S. Embassy, Estonia/State Department)
A Congressional delegation trip to Estonia conducted in August 2004 shows (from left to right) the U.S. embassy’s Community Liaison Officer, the Deputy Chief of Mission, Senator Lindsey Graham, a tour guide, Senator Hillary Clinton, and Senator John McCain. More and more congressional delegation trips are becoming an everyday occurence on Capitol Hill with the Carribbean becoming a favorite destination.

WASHINGTONCongress is keeping Andrews Air Force base plenty busy this year ferrying lawmakers all over the globe at taxpayers’ expense. Rep. Bennie Thompson of Mississippi took his wife, nine Democrats and two Republicans – Reps. Dan Lungren of California and Mike Rogers of Alabama – on a whirlwind tour of the Caribbean last week. After stops in Honduras and Mexico, they stopped in the U.S. Virgin Islands, where the delegation stayed at the five-star Caneel Bay resort.

In a separate trip to the Caribbean last week, Rep. Eliot Engel of New York squired his wife and four Democratic members to Grenada and Trinidad.

All told, the military flew at least 13 congressional delegations to various destinations during the Easter recess — at an estimated rate of $10,000 or more per flying hour.

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The congressional delegation trips, known as CODELs, are paid for by taxpayers. They are supposed to be directly related to members’ official duties, and House guidelines also stipulate that delegations include members of both parties to qualify for military planes — a requirement that Speaker Nancy Pelosi waived for Engel’s group and two other delegations.

“There was a good faith effort made to include Republican members,” a Pelosi spokesman said. “For one reason or another, that did not work.”

In one instance, he said, a Republican slated for a Democrat-led trip had to cancel because of a “family emergency.”

In their successful campaign to win control of Congress last fall, Democrats accused Republicans of extravagant travel paid for by lobbyists. Some of these trips carried a strong whiff of influence peddling. The worst that can be said of CODELS, and critics often say it, is that they’re junkets.

Thompson’s office said he toured the Caribbean because he now chairs the Homeland Security Committee and wanted to see vacation hot spots to “examine border security and port security.” Three other members of the delegation also brought along their spouses.

“They are going from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. everyday,” a committee spokeswoman told The Examiner. “They do not have down time.”

At the Caneel Bay resort, where room rates reach $1,100 per night, the spokeswoman said Thompson and his wife paid the “government rate.” But, according to the reservations department, Caneel Bay doesn’t “offer any government rates.”

After Caneel Bay, the group headed to Key West, Fla., for a “classified briefing on inter-jurisdictional agency task forces,” a Thompson spokeswoman said.

The Caribbean trip led by Engel, who is chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Subcommittee on the Western Hemisphere, explored the “best practices for emergency disaster relief” and energy policy, according to his office.

Traveling with Engel and his wife were Reps. Yvette Clarke, D-N.Y., Sheila Jackson-Lee, D-Tex., and Barbara Lee, D-Calif. Rep. Maxine Waters, D-Calif., who went to Belgium in a delegation led by Rep. Barney Frank, D-Mass., earlier in the week, also joined Engel’s Caribbean trip. She brought her husband with her.

Frank’s trip to Belgium and London was related to his work as chairman of the House Financial Services Committee, according to his office. The trip, which also included Rep. Gwen Moore, D-Wis., was designed “to further understand the interrelationship between various issues related to the financial services regulatory structures” of the United States, the United Kingdom and the European Union, according to Frank’s office.

Rep. Jim Oberstar, D-Minn., also led a trip to Belgium over the two-week Easter recess. In February, Sen. Bob Bennett, R-Utah, took a delegation there.

“We’re at war with Iraq and Afghanistan, but apparently our members see Belgium as our most urgent international destination,” scoffed one Republican member of Congress.

Last week, Rep. Tom Lantos, D-Calif., defended Congressional travelers after a trip he took to Syria came under intense White House criticism.

“Members of Congress are not simply potted plants, though the White House apparently would like them to be,” he told reporters after his return. “Congress plays an important role in determining policy and providing funding for America’s international policies.”

churt@dcexaminer.com

Read other stories by Charles Hurt