Reforming Congress Reducing Perks and Abuse Chapter 13, Theme 6 If Congress is “broken,” how can it be FIXED? 1. Term limits 2. Curbing Pork Barrel spending and earmarks 3. Abolishing or further limiting the franking privilege 4. Making Congress follow their own rules 5. Having zero tolerance for ethics violations Limiting Congressional Tenure Several attempts by states to impose term limits—UNCONSTITUTIONAL http://www.oyez.org/cases/1990-1999/1994/1994_93_1456 Several states pushed for a constitutional amendment (similar to 22nd Amendment) http://www.oyez.org/cases/2000-2009/2000/2000_99_929 Pro/Con of each position? Reducing Earmarks/Pork Barrel Legislation Define the above terms. The same? Pork barrel legislation is the appropriation of government spending for localized projects secured solely or primarily to bring money to a representative's district. An Earmark is a congressional directive that funds should be spent on a specific project. Give several relevant examples. CH Lighthouse move, Bridge to Nowhere Are all pork projects frivolous? Trimming the Fat from the Budget How do so many of these items get passed? Reciprocity/Logrolling Senate Rules Committee Power Why fewer earmarks? Public outcry over national debt Special interest/watchdog scrutiny (Pig Book by CAGW) Congressional moratorium Fencing the Frank Redefine the term. Free mailing privilege Advantages of the perk? Inform constituents Others? Disadvantages of the perk? Huge expense Political advantage for incumbents Following their own laws Why not follow some laws? Upset checks & balances (Increase executive authority over Congress) Examples of exemptions Social Security STOCK Act Congressional Accountability Act of 1995 http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Congressional_Accountability_Act_of_1995 Created Office of Compliance to solve the issues of separation of powers Keeping Ethical Practices What happens when members of Congress act illegally or unethically? Investigation Resignation http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1Rbf-6DaNSI Stripped of power (chairmanship) Fines Reprimand Censure http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=g3VD5fCY6Dc&feature=fvst Expulsion http://www.c-spanvideo.org/program/Expuls Assignment Read pp. 368-374 & handout. Create a Venn diagram to compare & contrast the President & a Prime Minister. Complete the FRQ on divided government. Outline 3 fears of the Framers concerning the President & the constitutional solution to that fear. Due Thursday.