March 8, 2012 Press Release
Lt. Col Larry Smith Calls for Congressional Reforms
Smith wants Term limits, Transparency and Accountability
TIMONIUM, MD…Today Lt. Col. Larry Smith, Republican candidate for Congress in Maryland’s Second District, announced a series of reforms to clean up Washington politics.
“It is time to restore the public’s faith in our system of government, and it starts with cleaning up Beltway politics. I will work to implement reforms that restore integrity,” said Smith.
Smith’s reforms include the following:
Institute reasonable Term Limits for Congressional members.
Require 60% bi-cameral majorities to pass deficit spending.
Withhold Congressional salaries for every day after October 1st that a budget has not been passed
Have Ethics Committees establish public, online searchable databases of Member Financial Disclosure Statements, requiring Members to amend their statements within seven days of changes to their investment portfolio.
End quasi-government paid lobbying. According to the Wall Street Journal between 2001 and 2006, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac spent $123 million to lobby Congress.
Invoke Article VI of the Congressional Ethics Code: “Make no private promises of any kind binding upon the duties of office, since a Government employee has no private word which can be binding on public duty.” In other words, no pledges beyond those to the Constitution, one’s spouse, and the American flag.
Confirm or reject all Presidential appointments within 90 days of their nomination. In one notorious case from 2010, a senator held up over 70 nominees at once to secure more federal spending for his state.
Require real filibusters (not virtual) and end filibusters on motions to proceed. In the first 50 years of the filibuster, it was used only 35 times. In the last two years alone, it was used over 100.
Post all legislation 72 hours before a vote so the public has time to comment and members have time to read the bills. As it stands now, Congress’ “three day rule” means a bill can be posted last thing Monday night and voted on first thing Wednesday morning. This is unacceptable.
“As a former business owner, I never signed a contract without reading it first. Hence, when Congress is dealing with legislation costing millions, billions and trillions, they need to read it,” said Smith.
Smith believes that the passage of Affordable Care Act in 2010 was a prime example of a bill that wasn’t read. Speaker Pelosi urged passage to see what was in the legislation. “Only a rare few members read the 2,300 page bill that overhauled our health care system. Taking over 16% of our nation’s economy should have been better scrutinized. The first step would have been to read the bill,” said Smith.
“As we all well know the collapse of Fannie and Freddie was a major contributing factor to our economic downturn. Maybe if so much money had not been spent on protecting the status quo for the taxpayer backed corporation, we might have been able to prevent some of the disaster,” said Smith.
Smith is the only candidate who has released serious plans on issues. He is running a campaign on the issues, not insider endorsements.