One of the recurring themes I hear when I meet with constituents is that they are tired of "business as usual in Washington." I, too, am frustrated with Washington and one of the my goals as your representative is to change the culture of Washington and the way the federal government does business. Recently, I have taken an active role in pushing legislation that would get Washington working for the people and not the other way around.
Members of Congress are exposed to vast amounts of information and on occasion Members can become privy to information that could give them an advantage over the general public when making investment decisions. In the financial industry, trading on insider information is illegal. Congress should not be held to a different standard than the rest of the population, so I cosponsored and voted for a bill to hold Members of Congress, the Executive Branch, and their staff accountable to insider trading laws. S. 2038, the Stop Trading on Congressional Knowledge (STOCK) Act, passed the House of Representatives with my vote in support on February 9, 2012, and was signed into law April 4, 2012.
In order to put America back on the path to prosperity, we must improve the way Congress budgets. To help accomplish this goal, I voted in support of legislation designed to increase accountability and transparency in the federal budget process. Our current process desperately needs the commonsense reforms included in H.R. 3578, the Baseline Reform Act; H.R. 3581, the Budget and Accounting Transparency Act; and H.R. 3582, the Pro-Growth Budgeting Act. These bills will ensure that our budget reflects the long-term economic effects of legislation, and remove the pro-spending biases within our budgeting process. These bills passed the House of Representatives and are awaiting further action by the Senate.
With so many Nevadans struggling in this difficult economy, pay raises for Members of Congress and federal employees are unacceptable. I recently voted for H.R. 3835, a bill to freeze pay for Members of Congress and federal employees through 2013. I have never voted to increase my own pay in Congress. H.R. 3835 passed the House of Representatives on February 1, 2012, and is awaiting further action by the Senate.