U.S. Representatives Bill Posey (R-FL) and Virginia Foxx (R-NC) were joined by 5 of their colleagues in introducing legislation (H.R. 3127) to eliminate a generous death benefit set aside for the family of Members of Congress who pass away during the term of their service.
"I believe Members of Congress should do what other Americans do, purchase their own life insurance." said Posey. "And with so many Americans struggling to make ends meet -- mostly because of bad policy coming out of Washington -- this taxpayer funded "gratuity' just adds more insult to injury. It's no wonder Americans have such a low opinion of Congress."
"Forcing taxpayers to pay for a congressional 'death gratuity' doesn't make sense, especially during these tough economic times when the federal government is racking up record amounts of debt," Foxx said. "If Representatives want to ensure their families are provided for in the event of their death, they need to look somewhere other than this taxpayer-funded perk."
The Congressional death gratuity was initially intended decades ago as a form of life insurance for families of Members of Congress. The benefit in the amount of an entire year's salary is payable to the survivor of a Member of Congress regardless of their financial position in life. But its existence today is more difficult to justify particularly when every other American purchases their own life insurance. Posey said the issue concerns the proper use of taxpayer resources and restoring the legislative branch to a position of trust in the public eye.