NTF issue paper: cong67.doc. 1-15.

BACKGROUND. Conservative Cong. Ron DeSantis (Fla.) has introduced HR 584, the End Pensions in Congress Act. This legislation would end pensions for all future congressmen and those presently serving but not yet vested in the congressional retirement plan. DeSantis himself refused a pension when assuming office. He is a founding member of the conservative House Freedom Caucus and seeks to restore congressional accountability.

PENSION HISTORY. Congressional pensions originated in 1942 with the blessing of liberal Democrat Pres. Franklin Roosevelt. After a public howling, Congress repealed its action 2 months later. After World War II, Congress passed the pension bill again, justifying its generous action by stating that it wanted younger members with new ideas, that by implementing a pension plan, older congressmen would decide to retire. That rationale has not materialized, as many congressmen today are in their ’70s and ’80s. Those remaining for long periods can collect $100,000+ yearly pensions. Members become vested after 5 years service. A full pension is available to those age 62 with 5 years of service, 50 years or older with 20 years of service, or 25 years of service at any age.

THE RATIONALE. The bill sponsor stated that our Founding Fathers perceived elected officials as servants of their constituents, citizen legislators, not a ruling class of career politicians to which they have evolved. He believes that the lush pensions for congressmen are wrong when so many employees in the private sector see their pensions shrink or end altogether. With our nation over $18 trillion in debt, congressmen receive benefits unavailable to most private sector workers. DeSantis prefers that congressmen save for retirement with their own 401(k) plans instead of having defined benefit pensions, believing that congressmen should be professionals earning income outside of the Beltway.

TAKE ACTION NOW. HR 584, now referred to the Comm. on Oversight and Government Reform, awaits action by that committee and public comment. Contact your House member today to co-sponsor and support this needed bill.

Congressman Brad Ashford
House of Representatives
107 Cannon Bldg.
Washington, D.C. 20515
Phone: (202) 225-4155
FAX: (202) 226-5452
Website: https://ashford.house.gov
7126 Pacific Street
Omaha, NE. 68106
Phone: (402) 916-5678

Congressman Jeff Fortenberry
House of Representatives
1514 Longworth Bldg.
Washington, D.C. 20515-2701
Phone: (202) 225-4806
FAX: (202) 225-5686
Website: http://fortenberry.house.gov
301 South 13 Str. #100
Lincoln, NE. 68508
Phone: (402) 438-1598
Fax: (402) 438-1604
125 South 4 Str. #101
Norfolk, NE. 68701
Phone: (402) 379-2064
Fax: (402) 379-2101

Congressman Adrian Smith
House of Representatives
2241 Rayburn Bldg.
Washington, D.C. 20515
Phone: (202) 225-6435
FAX: (202) 225-0207
Website: http://www.adriansmith.house.gov/
1811 West 2 Str. #275
Grand Island NE. 68803
Phone: (308) 384-3900
Fax: (308) 384-3902
416 Valley View Dr. #600
Scottsbluff, NE. 69361
Phone: (308) 633-6333
Fax: (308) 633-6335

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