I believe that many in Congress are unresponsive, ineffective, and have forgotten the meaning of conflict of interest.  Many have become the servants of special interests and continue to find new ways to benefit themselves while at the same time limiting or taking away the benefits and protections of average Americans.  To begin to change this type of behavior and attempt to instill some sort of accomplishment and make Congressional actions more transparent I suggest the following changes.

  • Congressional salaries would be tied to the minimum wage.  This would be based on 7 times the minimum wage and referenced to 40 hours/week for 50 weeks/year.  No more automatic salary hikes for Congress.  If they want a pay raise then they need to start with the least among us and raise the minimum wage.
  • Every Representative would have the right to bring one bill of 5 pages or less to the floor for a vote every year.  Senators would have the right to bring two bills of 5 pages or less to the floor.  These bills would be privileged bills where they could not be sent to committee, they could not be amended without the approval of the sponsor, and they must receive a vote withing 15 days of introduction.
  • All Bills referred to committees would be required to be returned to the House for action within 90 days of being referred to committee.  Any Bill could be expedited by a specific request by the Representatives.  For each four Representatives or one Senator requesting the Bill be expedited one day would be subtracted from the 90 days allowed down to a minimum of 10 days.
  • Change the rules regarding Congressional Hearings where each representative would have 4 minutes to question instead of 5.  However, the time the witness takes to answer would not be deducted from their time.  Representatives would have twenty seconds to ask a question and if they fail to ask a question in that time they would lose that time plus an additional penalty of 20 seconds.  Any Representative making personal attacks on other members, organizations, or other entities would be penalized 1 minute of time and would be required to make a personal apology to the offended party.   All statements or information presented or proposed by a member would be susceptible to fact checking by any other member.  Facts and information could be approved before the hearing through the committee fact checker.
  • Must spend 1200 hours in productive session/year or lose 1% of salary for every 10 hours below that.
  • Cannot accept anything of value from a single person for more than the minimum hourly wage/quarter and cannot accept anything of value from more than 100 persons/quarter.  Cannot receive anything of value from any non-human persons, entities, or organizations.
  • Fact finding trips or anything paid for by individuals, corporations, or any other entity must be assigned by lottery with numbers being divided proportional to representation of parties, with at least 1 member from each party represented.
  • All travel plans, meetings, events, dining, and schedules for fact finding trips must be reported and part of open public record.  All representatives must file a report of results of every trip or event they attend.
  • All votes of any kind will be recorded and part of the open permanent record.
  • All Bills and Amendments and who introduced them must be part of open public record.  This would include all committee votes and actions.
  • Any hold or stoppage of any bill must name the representative requesting such action, with that information to be published and part of open public record.
  • Limit the compensation that any former elected Representative can receive after leaving Congress, from any organization, if that organization works with the government, is contracted by the government, or if the organization is involved in lobbying Congress or government in any way.

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