In Video Response, Bennet Thanks Coloradans for Their Feedback on the "Plan for Washington Reform"?
Washington, DC - Michael Bennet, U.S. Senator for Colorado, today released a video thanking Coloradans for their feedback to his Plan for Washington Reform and promising to continue to fight to get Washington working for Coloradans and all Americans.
In the video, Bennet says, "After just a year in Washington, it is clear that the current system is not working for the American people. I have already begun work on some changes that need to be made, but no one has a monopoly on good ideas. I really appreciate your input as we move forward together to fix this broken system. We received a lot of great ideas and feedback from Coloradans, and I am taking all of them into consideration as I push for reform to become a reality."
Bennet's video addresses some of the main concerns Coloradans expressed in their feedback, including earmark reform, lobbying reform, campaign finance reform, Congressional spending and filibuster reform. Those who submitted feedback in the online forum will receive a letter of response along with this video response.
Click here to view Bennet's video response to feedback from Coloradans on his plan.
Specifically, Bennet's Plan for Washington Reform would:
Salaries, Spending, and Perk
- Freeze congressional member pay until there are 4 quarters of job growth
- Freeze congressional office budgets until there are 4 quarters of job growth
- Require full payment and disclosure of those traveling when a Member of Congress travels on a charter jet
- Put a lifetime ban on Members of Congress becoming lobbyists
- Ban congressional staff from lobbying their former boss for 6 years
- Ban former committee staff from lobbying their former boss or any member of the committee who was active during their time on staff for 6 years
- Ban lobbyists from joining congressional staff or committee staff for 6 years
- Create stricter rules for lobbyist registration
- Institute penalties for failing to register as a lobbyist
- Ban earmarks to private, for-profit companies and institutions.
- Make earmarks transparent
- Members of Congress must report all earmark requests they receive and all earmarks requests made
- Earmarks.gov should list all earmarks requests, sortable by member of Congress
- Hold Members of Congress accountable on earmark requests
- All earmark requests above $1 million should go before the Appropriations Committee for a hearing
- Hold earmarks recipients accountable
- Each year, a certain percent of all earmarks will be audited to ensure that taxpayer money is being spent wisely. These reports should be made public on earmarks.gov
Reform the Floor
- Eliminate anonymous holds
- Require holds to be bipartisan. If not, the hold expires in 2 days. Even bipartisan holds expire in 30 days.
- Reform the filibuster in the Senate
- After 3rd failed cloture vote, the minority must find a member of the opposite party or the threshold for obstruction raises to 45 votes.
- After the 3rd failed cloture vote, if the majority finds support from three members of the minority, the threshold also raises to 45 votes.
- End the filibuster for motions to proceed
- Require 41 Senators to show up to vote in order to block cloture, or else it's invoked
Campaign Finance Reform
- Support the Schumer/Van Hollen campaign finance bill, which would require Chief Executive Officers to stand by their ads, quick disclosure and sunshine rules, restrictions on foreign corporations and TARP recipients, and codifying coordination rules.
- Support a constitutional amendment allowing Congress to regulate contributions and expenditures.