Friday, March 05, 2010

Freshman tackles Senate

Must read of the day comes from Ezra Klein's interview with freshman Senator Michael Bennet of Colorado who has a remarkably comprehensive proposal to reform the Senate rules. Just the summary made me almost weep.
Bennet's Plan for Washington Reform will limit increases in salaries of Members of Congress; end Federal health insurance benefits for Members of Congress until they have passed health insurance reform; usher in sweeping changes that will limit Members of Congress and their staffs from becoming lobbyists; institute reform that will provide more transparency and accountability in the earmarking process; reform the filibuster rule in a responsible and practical way; and implement new rules for campaign finance.
The full proposal is stunning in its scope and practicality. Now if he can just get those dinosaurs inside the institution to climb aboard...

[More posts daily at The Detroit News]


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Anonymous abi said...

I like what Bennet's trying to do, but I don't think he goes far enough.

We don't need to reform the fillibuster. We need to get rid of it, and the body that created it along with it. Why do we need a Senate? It was designed as a body of elites to hold the wishes and desires of the rest of us in check. It is where bills go to die. It is redundant and unnecessary.

Same thing for lobbyists. Make lobbying illegal. If the leaders of corporations or unions want to influence legislation, let them write their reps in Congress, like the rest of us have to do, or get off their asses and visit Washington themselves. It's no secret that lobbying is corrupting. Why do we tolerate it?

As for regulating Congressional pay, I would like to see the annual pay for each rep calculated as follows: the mean earnings of workers in the rep's district, plus the mean earnings of workers in Washington DC. Reps' pay would rise and fall with how well the rest of us are doing.

1:39:00 PM  
Blogger Libby Spencer said...

Hey Abi. I think you can't change it too drastically all at once. I doubt this much will even get off the ground but I'm glad to see someone inside the body promoting it. It's something.

1:42:00 PM  

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