Caffeinated Thoughts: Axne Introduces Bill Cutting Off Pensions for Corrupt Members of Congress
February 26, 2020
WASHINGTON – U.S. Rep. Cindy Axne, D-Iowa, and a bipartisan group of lawmakers introduced the No Congressionally-Obligated Recurring Revenue Used as Pensions To Incarcerated Officials Now (NO CORRUPTION) Act. This legislation would prevent Members of Congress who have been convicted of certain crimes, such as bribery, perjury, or conspiracy from collecting their taxpayer-funded pension by closing a loophole in existing law.
“This is simple: Members of Congress who abuse the public trust and are convicted of felonies should not receive their congressional pension,”Axne said. “When I ran for Congress, I promised Iowans that I would hold government accountable and root out corruption. It’s outrageous that this loophole exists – and our bipartisan legislation proves that both Democrats and Republicans can agree that we need to end this corrupt practice.”
The bipartisan Honest Leadership and Open Government Act of 2007 banned Members of Congress from receiving their congressional pension if they were convicted of certain crimes. However, due to ambiguity in the law, convicted members can continue to receive their pension if they do not fully exhaust their appeals in court. The NO CORRUPTION Act would close this loophole by halting pension payments immediately following a conviction.
Last year, Axne introduced the Clean Up Congress Act to prevent member pay raises until Congress eliminates budget deficits, prohibit members from using taxpayer dollars on first class flights, and institute a lifetime ban on members becoming lobbyists.
U.S. Reps. Harley Rouda, D-Calif., Ralph Norman, R-S.C., Paul Gosar R-Ariz., Brad Schneider, D-Ill., and Mark Meadows, R-N.C., joined Axne introducing the bill. U.S. Senators Jacky Rosen, D-Nev., and Rick Scott, R-Fla., introduced a version of NO CORRUPTION Act in the U.S. Senate.