WASHINGTON, D.C. >> Congressman Brian Fitzpatrick (PA-01) officially became the United States Representative for Pennsylvania’s First District on Jan. 3 and introduced a package of anti-corruption legislation intended to significantly reform Congress and increase executive branch accountability and transparency.
“It is an honor to represent and serve the people of Bucks and Montgomery counties in the 116th Congress. I look forward to serving as their independent voice in Washington during a time when our citizens face a dysfunctional, hyper-partisan, and broken Washington,” said Fitzpatrick. “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 institutions so we can tackle the challenges we face and accomplish great things in this new era.”
The three Constitutional amendments and five bills follow Fitzpatrick’s career as a former FBI Special Agent who oversaw the national FBI Political Corruption Unit.
Included in the package:
- Term Limits for Members of Congress (Constitutional Amendment): Limits congressional terms to 12 years in both chambers, six two-year terms in the House and two six-year terms in the Senate.
- No Budget, No Pay (Constitutional Amendment): 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 end of term. This measure requires complete forfeiture.
- Balanced Budget Amendment (Constitutional Amendment): Requires Congress to adopt a budget that balances like most states, including Pennsylvania and municipalities.
- Clean Congress Act (H.R.): Requires Congress to act on single-issue legislation and codifies that all laws passed by Congress must apply to its members.
- Clean Public Service Act (H.R.): Ends Congressional “pensions for life” and directs members toward standard 401K retirement savings accounts.
- Clean Elections Act (H.R.): 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.
- Cabinet Service Integrity Act (H.R.): Prohibits cabinet members and their immediate family from soliciting donations from foreign sources. High-ranking federal officials should not use their office or status as influential political officials to solicit funds from overseas entities.
- Presidential Tax Transparency Act (H.R.): Mandates the Secretary of the Treasury to disclose and make publicly available tax returns and return information of presidential and vice-presidential candidates filed within the 10 tax years preceding the year in which the individual becomes a candidate. “Transparency and unimpeachable integrity are essential to a government that truly serves the people of the United States,” said Fitzpatrick. “This anti-corruption legislation will help restore the American’s people’s faith in Congress and hold public officials accountable.”
House Rules Package
Congressman Fitzpatrick also supported the House rules package [H. Res. 6] and released the following statement:
“We can and must bring bipartisanship and consensus building back to the United States Congress. Today, I upheld my commitment to the principles set by the Problem Solvers Caucus and I voted to support the House rules package. Under the new rules, bills with broad bipartisan support will be considered quickly and more transparently. I am hopeful these new rules create a more effective and bipartisan institution.
“I continue to strongly oppose the attempt to dismantle the Affordable Care Act in federal court, which threaten patient protection provisions. Last Congress, I supported The Maintaining Protections for Patients with Pre-Existing Conditions Act, which protects Americans with pre-existing conditions from being denied coverage. The rules package that I voted for today allows the House to defend Americans with pre-existing conditions, and Democratic leadership must use this authority to protect patients with pre-existing conditions. I will continue to fight for affordable, accessible, and quality healthcare for all Americans.”