Yoder supports Congressional reform package02/09/12
Bills would eliminate Congressional pensions, prohibit insider trading and pay down debt
WASHINGTON, DC — Congressman Kevin Yoder today announced his support for a package of much-needed Congressional reforms. These reforms include prohibiting Members of Congress from financially benefitting from insider information, eliminating the federal pension program for Members of Congress and allowing unused office funds to be used to pay down the national debt. The various bills enjoy broad bipartisan support.
“The American people have lost a lot of faith in their government. The public believes members of Congress receive special treatment and they constantly see taxpayer dollars are wasted – I understand their frustration,” stated Congressman Yoder. “In order to put our country back on track, we need to restore the public’s trust in the institution of Congress.”
- Congressman Yoder is co-sponsoring the Stop Trading on Congressional Knowledge Act, or STOCK Act. The STOCK Act recently passed the Senate with near unanimous support, and prohibits elected officials from financially benefitting from nonpublic information they receive while serving on Congressional committees. Currently, the House is working to strengthen the Senate bill to include all federal employees who may receive nonpublic information, not just Members of Congress.
- Additionally, Rep. Yoder will co-sponsor H.R. 2913, legislation that would eliminate the federal pension program for Members of Congress, known as the Federal Employee Retirement System (FERS). Currently, all Members are required to participate in the pension program.
- Rep. Yoder will also co-sponsor H.R. 121, the Congressional Budget Accountability Act. The bill requires funds remaining in a Member’s Representational Allowance (MRA) at the end of a fiscal year be used to pay down the national debt. Yoder recently returned $120,000 of unused office budget funds and requested the funds go towards paying down the debt. Congress had passed a budget in 2011 and 2012 that cut office operating budgets by five percent each year. The returned $120,000 was in addition to these budget cuts.
“Our country is not in a healthy financial situation. Taxpayers need to see Congress act in a more financially responsible manner – not just talk about it. I will continue to search for ways to ensure taxpayer money is spent wisely and not wasted. We have a lot of work to do to return to solid financial ground.”