End Pensions in Congress Act: Controversial new legislation shines light on ruling class

A Florida Republican wants to cut budgets and Congress down to size with controversial new legislation, the “End Pensions in Congress Act.”

End Pensions in Congress Act
photo source: Slate.com

“Pensions for members of Congress represent an inappropriate use of taxpayer money, especially when the idea of a pension in the private sector is fast becoming a relic from a bygone era,” Rep. Ron DeSantis said, according to a statement released in January.

There’s been no word if lawmaker jaws hit the floor when the “End Pensions in Congress Act” was first introduced, but it’s at least getting support. Six House Republicans are co-sponsoring the bill, including Rep. Trey Gowdy R-S.C., the Times reported.

Congressmen and senators are eligible for a pension after five years of service at age 62. Those who’ve served 20 years or more have the luxury of drawing pensions at 50, according to the Congressional Research Service.

The Times reported that 617 retired members currently receive federal pensions with average payments between $42,048 and $71,664 a year.

Rep. Thomas Massie, R-Ky, said any amount of taxpayer-bankrolled pension is too much.

“If congressmen want to save for retirement, they should do so with 401K-type plans, rather than rely on taxpayers to take care of them even after leaving Congress. To tackle out-of-control federal spending, Congress must lead by example,” Massie said.

DeSantis, who authored the proposal, cited the greatest example of all.

“The Founding Fathers envisioned elected officials as part of a servant class, yet Washington has evolved into a ruling class culture,” DeSantis said.

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