Project 21 Leaders Applaud Six New Attempts to Reform Congress – June, 1996

Contact: Arturo Silva at (202) 507-6398 or [email protected]

Two Republican nominees for Congress, leaders of the African-American group Project 21, are applauding efforts by some Members of Congress to return the legislative branch to a citizens’ legislature.

The proposals include:

  • A resolution introduced by Rep. Dan Burton (R-IN) deterring frivolous and politically-motivated ethics inquiries by penalizing the Member who files any such complaint;
  • A resolution introduced by Rep. Greg Ganske (R-IA) requiring House Members to submit semi-annual reports of domestic and foreign trips paid for with federal dollars, later to be published in the Congressional Record;
  • Legislation sponsored by Rep. Frank Riggs (R-CA) requiring Members to have a legitimate excuse for missing any days Congress is in session and voting. If the excuse is not legitimate, the Member will lose pay for days not worked;
  • Legislation sponsored by Rep. Gil Gutknecht (R-MN) ending government matching of contributions to pension funds for Members of Congress after 12 years;
  • Legislation sponsored by John Shadegg (R-AZ) in the House and Spencer Abraham (R-MI) in the Senate requiring all laws enacted by Congress to contain a statement specifying the constitutional authority for the laws.
  • Legislation sponsored by Rep. Frank Riggs (R-CA) denying retirement benefits to members convicted of a felony directly related to the performance of official Congressional duties. Rep. Randy Tate (R-WA) has introduced a similar bill which would deny retirement benefits to any Member convicted of any felony. Tate’s bill is also retroactive.

“In 1994, when voters elected a Republican Congress for the first time in 40 years, they clearly wanted change,” says Norman Reece, the Republican nominee for California’s Seventh Congressional District. “And once they were elected, the Congress sought to satisfy their constituents. They passed a law stating that Congress should be held accountable to the same laws and regulations the rest of us are. They cut staff and perks. They did all the little things to show the Congress of the United States is a legislative body that is accountable to the people, not a House of Lords which ignores the people. But there is still more to done. Some legislators know this and I know this. We understand that America sought its independence from England because it could no longer tolerate royal tyranny. I’m tired of a group of people trying to govern our lives, and make decisions for us that we can make ourselves. That’s one of the reasons I’m running for office, and that’s one of the reasons I want to run Rep. George Miller (R-CA) out of office.”

“If Congress members really place their constituents above their own self-interest, they won’t object to forgoing their pensions after 12 years,” says Deborah Wright, the Republican nominee for California’s Ninth Congressional District. “My opponent, Rep. Ron Dellums, is more interested in accumulating pension funds than caring for what’s in the best interest of his district.”

Project 21 is an African-American leadership group that promotes a conservative viewpoint. For an interview with Deborah Wright or Norman Reece, contact Arturo Silva at (202) 507-6398 or by e-mail at [email protected]. ###

Project 21, a leading voice of black conservatives for over 25 years, is sponsored by the National Center for Public Policy Research. Its members have been quoted, interviewed or published over 40,000 times since the program was created in 1992. Contributions to the National Center are tax-deductible and greatly appreciated, and may be earmarked exclusively for the use of Project 21.