Schneider Introduces Bill to Prevent Former Members of Congress who Lobby from Abusing Congressional Privileges
Today, Congressman Brad Schneider (IL-10) announced the introduction of new legislation to make Congress more accountable and transparent to the American people.
H.R.6640, the Prohibiting Perks and Privileges Act would prevent former Members of Congress who become lobbyists from abusing their congressional privileges, would strengthen transparency requirements surrounding financial disclosure data, and make other changes to promote responsible use of taxpayer-funded travel.
“Serving in Congress is a high honor, and it’s wrong for former Members of Congress to leverage their public service for personal profit lobbying on behalf of corporate clients,” said Schneider. “The American people expect their elected representatives to be held to a higher standard. I urge my colleagues to join me in supporting this legislation to shut down these abuses, as well as institute other commonsense good government reforms. When Congress is more accountable and transparent, we more effectively serve our constituents.”
Specifically, the Prohibiting Perks and Privileges Act would:
- Prohibit former Members of Congress who become lobbyists from receiving certain health and pension benefits, from access to the floor in either chamber, access to Member dining rooms, access to House and Senate document rooms, and use of the House Legislative Resource Center and Senate Library;
- Require Members’ annual financial disclosure statements to be posted on their websites;
- Prohibit the use of taxpayer funds to pay for spouses that accompany Members on official travel; and
- Prohibit Members from using airline miles accrued as a result of their service for personal use. Instead, the bill would require these miles to either be used for official travel or donated.
Congressman Schneider’s personal financial disclosure is posted on his website.
In 2017, Congressman Schneider donated more than 82,000 airline miles accrued from his taxpayer-funded congressional travel to the Fisher House Foundation Hero Miles Program which provides round-trip airline tickets to wounded, injured, and ill service members and/or their families who are undergoing treatment at a military or VA medical center. – Press Release