WASHINGTON – Building on their record of fighting corruption in Washington, Representatives Josh Harder (CA-10) and Max Rose (NY-11) introduced the No Pensions for Corrupt Politicians Act of 2020, which would stop criminals who served in Congress from receiving their pensions. The bill specifically prevents the payment of pensions to members of Congress who commit – or conspire to commit – campaign finance crimes.
“I’ve only been here a year and I’m already disgusted by a lot of the shady stuff going on – it makes no sense that Members of Congress who break the law still get their taxpayer-funded pension,” said Rep. Harder. “We need to crack down on these special privileges for politicians.”
“Serving in Congress is a privilege, not a right,” Rep. Rose said. “If you’re corrupt and break the law, you don’t deserve a taxpayer-funded pension. In order to regain the trust of the American people, we need to act as true public servants, not entitled criminals.”
“Corrupt politicians who are convicted of a crime betray the trust of their constituents and shouldn’t be able to earn pensions paid for by the hard earned money of American taxpayers. Reps. Harder and Rose are committed to restoring Americans’ faith in their elected officials and this bill is an important step to do that. We applaud them for their leadership on reform issues,” said Tiffany Muller, President, End Citizens United Action Fund.
Members of Congress who commit or conspire to commit certain crimes relating to their official duties, including bribery, fraud, and racketeering are already liable to lose their pensions if found guilty. However, no law bars lawbreakers who serve in Congress from receiving their pension if they commit fraud with campaign funds. Rep. Harder’s bill would add relevant campaign finance fraud violations to the list of offenses which prevent a former member of Congress from collecting a pension.
Representative Harder is a leader in efforts to fight corruption in Washington. The first legislative provision he worked to pass through the House of Representatives, would crack down on lobbying. He also worked with fellow End Corruption Caucus founding member Rep. Rose to introduce the Ban Corporate PACs Act, which would ban all corporate Political Action Committees (PACs). Rep. Harder also introduced a bill to prevent members of Congress from giving themselves a raise until everyone in the country is enrolled in comprehensive health coverage.
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