CFIF to Congress: No Congressional Pensions for Felons
In a letter sent this week to incoming Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi and incoming Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, the Center for Individual Freedom joined more than 20 like-minded organizations in urging Congress to make Congressional pension reform a top priority at the start of the 110th Congress.
"Congress has constituted a retirement system for itself that includes pension and 401(k)-style plans, whose payments are far more generous than what similarly-paid workers in the private sector typically receive," the letter reads. "Furthermore, American taxpayers directly subsidize retired lawmakers' benefit payouts at rates of between 50 and 80 percent (without even including the contributions Members of Congress make from the salaries funded by taxpayers)," the letter continues.
Yet, only a conviction of treason or espionage results in forfeiture of a Congressional pension, "leaving more than 20 lawmakers who have committed other serious offenses to continue drawing benefits."
Recent examples of previous lawmakers who are receiving or are eligible to receive their full benefits include, former Representative Robert Ney, James Traficant, Daniel Rostenkowski and others.
"While the desire to 'close ranks' in support of perks may be strong, giving Congressional pensions to felons does not pass the 'smell test'..." with most taxpayers across the country.
"We hope you will lend your support as Leaders to immediately enact legislation that will automatically deny taxpayer-funded retirement benefits to a Representative or Senator convicted of any felony, during or after Congressional service," the letter concludes.
To read the full text of the letter, click here.