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Citizens Petition to Congress To Immediately Pass a Constitutional Amendment to Limit Terms for Congress (659)

Citizens Petition to Congress To Immediately Pass a Constitutional Amendment to Limit Terms for Congress

OFFICIAL CONSTITUENT PETITION

TO: Congress

As a voter, I strongly urge you to co-sponsor and actively support the Constitutional Amendment proposed by Americans for Constitutional Liberty that would . . .

1) Require U.S. Representatives to leave the House after serving a maximum of three two-year terms in the House;

2) Require U.S. Senators to leave the Senate after serving a maximum of two six-year terms; and

3) Prohibit by law Members of the House and Senate from working as paid lobbyists until seven years after they leave Congress.

The President is limited to two terms in office. Term limits should apply to Congress as well. America’s Founders envisioned a “citizen’s legislature,” not a permanent ruling class governing America.

In the early days of our Republic, Members of Congress spent just a few months in Washington legislating most years. They were paid a $6 per day stipend for days they were actually legislating, then returned home to their full-time jobs as farmers, doctors, lawyers, or businessmen.

Today Members of Congress have pay and benefit packages worth at least $200,000 per year — putting Members of Congress in the top 3 percent of Americans in terms of income.

Few would argue that this lavish pay for Congress has attracted leaders for America on the level of a George Washington, James Madison, Thomas Jefferson, Daniel Webster, John Adams, Alexander Hamilton, Ben Franklin, or Patrick Henry.

Today we have a deeply corrupt, dysfunctional government in Washington, DC. America has become a country where people get rich by having political connections and who contribute the most to political campaigns in the hope of gaining special “carve outs” from the government pie.

This is not how America is supposed to work. The time has come to dismantle the arrogant, corrupt permanent ruling class in Washington, DC that is doing so much harm to America.

We can accomplish this by limiting terms for Congress. I will closely watch your actions on this matter of urgent importance as we speed toward the 2016 Elections.

Sincerely,

(Please Sign Name After the National Opinion Survey)


NATIONAL OPINION SURVEY
of 10,000,000 U.S. Taxpayers On Whether to Limit Terms for Congress

ABOUT THIS SURVEY: U.S. Voters for Congressional Term Limits will distribute a report on the results of this survey to Members of Congress and the news media. The results of this enormous survey should be carefully studied by Members of Congress. It should also receive wide media coverage. Tabulation of this survey will begin in the next few weeks. So please complete your survey and sign your petition right away!

 

ISSUE SUMMARY: The Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi receives an annual salary of $223,500 per year. The standard salary for a Member of Congress is $174,000 per year. Members of Congress also receive a pension for up to 80 percent of their salary depending on how long they’ve served. They become eligible for a pension after just five years in office. They can also earn outside income of up to 15 percent of their salary. And they receive $11,378 in subsidies from the taxpayers to help pay for health insurance. The total pay and benefit package for a rank-and-file Member of Congress is estimated to be worth at least $200,000 per year. This puts every Member of Congress in the top 3 percent of Americans for income.

QUESTION #1: Do you think this level of congressional pay is justified?

QUESTION #2: How would you rate Congress’ overall performance?

ISSUE SUMMARY: Congress schedules about 124 days of legislating per year, compared to the average American worker who works 240 days per year. So Members of Congress are really in Washington working just half time — about 2.6 days per week.

QUESTION #3: Do you think being a Member of Congress is a difficult job?

ISSUE SUMMARY: Members of Congress say they actually work very hard because even though they only work 2.6 days per week on Congressional business in Washington, they must spend the other 2.4 days (or more) meeting with constituents and raising money for their re-election campaigns.

QUESTION #4: Do you think all the time Members of Congress spend meeting with constituents and raising money is a strong point in favor of their annual pay and benefit packages in favor of their annual pay and benefit packages in excess of $200,000?

ISSUE SUMMARY: Being a Member of Congress or a top Congressional staffer can be a ticket to becoming fabulously wealthy as a lobbyist. According to OpenSecrets.org, 427 former Members of Congress are now corporate lobbyists. In addition, almost 5,400 former Congressional staffers have left Capitol Hill to become federal lobbyists in the last 10 years. One report found that Members of Congress get a 1,452% pay raise on average when they become lobbyists. Former Congressman Billy Tauzin, as just one example, was paid almost $5 million per year to lobby for drug companies

QUESTION #5: Should Members of Congress, Congressional staff, and government officials be prohibited by law from accepting a job as a paid lobbyist for seven years?

QUESTION #6: If we had such a law, do you think this would help make our government more honest and less corrupt?

ISSUE SUMMARY: A century ago, Washington, DC was a relatively small and sleepy town. Today, the Washington, DC, area has an estimated population of 6,000,000 and is the fastest growing and richest metropolitan area in America. Of the top 10 richest counties in America, six are in the Washington, DC suburbs.

QUESTION #7: Do you think our federal government in Washington, DC has become too big and too rich?

ISSUE SUMMARY: From 1789 to 1815, Members of Congress received a daily honoraria payment of $6 while in session. They were paid $8 per day while in session from 1818 to 1855. Congress was typically in session legislating a few months each year. America’s Founding Fathers envisioned that being a Member of Congress would be a part-time job.

QUESTION #8: Would you like to see Congress go back to being a “citizen’s legislature” as it was at the beginning when Members of Congress usually had other full-time jobs, and were paid just a modest daily honoraria for days when they were actually legislating?

The Conservative Caucus, a project of Americans for Constitutional Liberty, is a public policy organization, contributions to which are not tax deductible. The IRS has determined ACL to be a 501(c)(4) organization, exempt from Federal income tax. Contributions to ACL are not subject to FEC regulation or disclosure requirements, and corporate donations are permitted.

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