Senator Deb Fischer Announces Policy Proposal to Reform Congress, Washington D.C.

Press Release

By:  Deb Fischer
Date: Jan. 1, 2012
Location: Lincoln, NE

Today, Senator Deb Fischer, a Republican candidate for U.S. Senate, released a policy proposal to reform how Congress functions.

"As I travel around the state listening to Nebraskans, they are telling me they think Washington D.C. is broken and I couldn't agree more," Senator Fischer said. "Too many members of Congress from both parties put their personal interests first and don't function in the citizens' best interest."

"We need to reform our federal government, reform Congress and reform how Washington functions. To achieve those goals, I'm putting a plan before Nebraskans as a blueprint for my actions and goals as their next U.S. Senator," said Fischer.

Senator Fischer's plan includes supporting term limits, strengthening lobbyist rules, increasing transparency, requiring real spending reform and tighter ethics rules. Listed below are more specific details on her legislative priorities to reform Washington, D.C.

Support Term Limits

- Support a constitutional amendment setting term limits for members of Congress. Senator's Fischer's preference would be two six-year terms for United States Senators and three two-year terms for Members of the House.

- Deb Fischer will pledge to limit herself to two terms in office.

Change Lobbyist Rules

- Put a lifetime ban on Members of Congress from becoming federally registered lobbyists after they leave office.

- Prevent immediate family of Members of Congress from becoming federally registered lobbyists while that particular member holds federal office.

- Increase the cooling-off period for congressional staff from lobbying Members of Congress for whom they were previously employed to three years and eliminate the salary requirement.

- Prohibit former committee staff to lobby committee chairs or any member of the committee who was active during their time on staff for three years.

- Restrict federally registered lobbyists from joining congressional staff or committee staff for three years.

Increase Transparency

- Congress should be subject to the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA). Nebraska and other states are subject to FOIA and Washington should be held to the same standard.

- The current financial disclosure reports by federal candidates and Members of Congress need to provide additional details. Currently, the disclosure reports allow for too wide of a range for asset and liability values to accurately determine a member's net worth.

- Change the rules of the U.S. Senate to require debate on the Senate floor on all major pieces of legislation with two thirds of Senators present for at least 5 hours prior to a vote. This debate should be subject to public viewing.

- All bills need to be posted for at least 72 hours for public review before being voted on by Members of Congress.

- As a U.S. Senator, Deb Fischer will thoroughly review each bill before voting on it.

Require Real Spending Reform

- Oppose all earmarks until the budget is balanced and then require a 2/3 majority to pass any earmark.

- Eliminate earmarks that go to private companies.

- Make it a top priority to pass the "Cut, Cap and Balance Act" in order to balance the budget and reduce spending.

- Vote to eliminate automatic pay increases for members of Congress.

Tighter Ethics Laws

- Prohibit Members of Congress and federal employees from trading stocks based on information obtained on the job that is not publicly available.

- Prohibit Members of Congress, their staffs and federal employees from disclosing nonpublic information for investment purposes.

- Prohibit Members of Congress, their staffs and federal employees from purchasing land based on inside information that is not public available.

- Require Members of Congress to be subject to the same laws and privileges as every citizen of the United States.

Senator Fischer is a lifelong Nebraskan who co-owns a family ranching business near Valentine. Over the last seven years, Fischer has served the 43rd District in the Nebraska Legislature. Governor Kay Orr, Congressman John Y. McCollister, Senator Tom Hansen and Mr. Todd Schroeder serve as her statewide campaign co-chairs.