Congressman Mike Fitzpatrick (PA-08) reintroduced a package of reform bills this afternoon as the 113th Congress was gaveled into session.
"Today marks the beginning of a new Congress, but my fight to reform the federal government to more effectively serve the people continues in earnest," said Fitzpatrick. "I look forward to working with colleagues from both parties to enact meaningful reforms in the 113th Congress. It is our duty to restore the faith of the American people in their government, and the measures I have introduced today are a step in the right direction."
A list and description of each of the bills Congressman Fitzpatrick has newly introduced, reintroduced or co-sponsored this afternoon is included below:
Hire Just One Act
Provides an incentive to businesses to hire workers by assigning the weekly unemployment compensation payments being received by each new person that they hire to the business itself, provided that the individual being hired has been unemployed for at least six months.
Member of Congress Pension Reform
Terminates congressional pensions in order to put Members of Congress on par with private-sector workers. The bill would limit Members of Congress to investing in a 401k for retirement, like most Americans.
"Cooling Off Period" Extension
Under current law, Members of the House who leave Congress must wait 1 year before lobbying their former colleagues. Fitzpatrick's bill would extend that "cooling off" period to 2 years.
Congressional Term Limits
Proposing an amendment to the Constitution to limit the number of terms that a Member of the House may serve to 4 and members of the Senate to 2.
Congressional Pay Freeze Act
No Member of Congress shall receive a pay raise in the 113th Congress.
Strengthening Homeland Security, Intelligence, and Essential Law Enforcement (SHIELD) Act
The SHIELD Act will ensure compensation for our armed service members and critical federal law enforcement personnel in the case of an interruption of Congressionally-appropriated funds, during periods of a government shutdown or in the event of reaching the debt ceiling.
Military Surviving Spouses Equity Pay Act
This bill would end the so-called "widow's tax," a dollar-for-dollar offset of payments between the Survivor Benefit Plan (SBP) and the Dependency and Indemnity Compensation (DIC) program. Currently, the law requires a dollar-for-dollar deduction of DIC payments from SBP benefits. This offset wipes out most or all of the SBP entitlement, and affects approximately 60,000 widows and widowers.
Balanced Budget Amendment
A Constitutional amendment requiring total spending for any fiscal year not exceed total receipts unless 3/5 of each chamber votes for a specific excess. The total outlays do not include repayment of debt or those derived from borrowing. The legislation provides exceptions during military conflicts, war, and national threats.
Congressman Fitzpatrick will re-introduce both the Jeremy Bell Act and the Fairness to Veterans Act in the Spring of 2013.