113th Congress: Changing the way Washington does business

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Washington, D.C., Jan 7, 2013 | Jen Talaber (202.225.2931) | comments

Last Thursday, January 3, marked the start of the 113th Congress. One of my key initiatives remains dramatically reducing federal spending and government overreach, and changing the way we do business in Washington. To that end, I introduced legislation targeting laws or policies in need of reform.


HR 106 – Congressional Budget Accountability Act
This legislation would return all funds remaining in Congressional office budgets at the end of a calendar year to the Treasury Department for the specific purpose of deficit reduction. This is a common-sense measure that would incentivize Congressional offices to better manage their budgets and pay down our nation’s debt.


HR 107 – Federal Employee Accountability Act
This bill eliminates use of “official time.” During the Carter administration, a law was enacted allowing federal employees to perform union activities—during the official work day—on the taxpayers’ dime. Use of official time is estimated to cost taxpayers $1.3 billion over 10 years. Repealing official time will save taxpayers money, provide greater government transparency and increase oversight of federal employees.


HR 108 – Member Pay Freeze Act
Under this legislation, Members of Congress would be prohibited from receiving a pay increase during a year with a budget deficit. Before being rewarded with a pay raise, legislators must put our country’s fiscal house in order, address entitlement reform, and dramatically reduce runaway government spending.


HR 109 – Enumerated Powers Act
Currently a House of Representatives rule, the Enumerated Powers Act would require a “constitutional authority statement” in every piece of legislation. This statement identifies and details why the legislation is permissible under the Constitution and hold legislators accountable to the principles upon which our nation was founded.


H.Res.13 – Amending the Rules of the House of Representatives to require that general appropriations for military construction and veterans' affairs be considered as stand-alone measures
This House rule would prohibit military and veterans’ legislation from being packed with unrelated pork and government spending. When previously in the majority, Democrats used the Military Construction and Veterans Affairs Appropriations Act—a must-pass bill—to move unrelated, partisan legislation that could not pass on its own merit. Simply put, this is unacceptable. Those brave men and women who have sacrificed for our nation should not be used as political pawns, and funding for our veterans should never be used as leverage by any Member of Congress.

Throughout the 113th Congress, I will continue working to save Medicare, reform Medicaid, and reduce regulations harmful to our nation’s job creators. I will continue fighting to secure our borders, protect our Second Amendment rights, and reduce government intrusion in citizens’ daily lives.