The Status Quo is Failing, Here's How We Fix It
Last week, Congressman Mike Gallagher attended the Unrig Summit to discuss his ideas on how to fix our broken Congress. The congressman has been a leader on this issue since he arrived in Congress, and has introduced a number of bills to help drain the swamp. Watch his full remarks above, or read highlights from his speech below.
Congressman Gallagher's three simple ideas to make Congress work again:
“The first is in just changing the schedule through which Congress operates. Right now you fly-in on a Tuesday night, you fly-out on a Thursday. People are raising money all the time, and then we don’t get anything done. Then what do we do in August? We take a big vacation…in what other job would you take a month long vacation having failed to actually do your job? Simply getting rid of the vacation and changing the Congressional calendar so we’re forced to actually stay there and do our jobs would go a long way.
"So what’s the second thing that you could do? Let’s say you get everyone in D.C., they’re working, they can’t go on vacation. Well, you don’t want them to spend that time raising money. How about we disallow fundraising while Congress is in session?
"A third simple thing that I have Democrat and Republican colleagues intrigued by: we all know that people are using political office as a pathway to getting rich. People spend their time there and then they cash out and become lobbyists. How about we just don’t allow former Members of Congress to become lobbyists?"
On the challenges ahead for Congressional Reform:
"Political reform is not popular with people that have spent their entire lives in politics in Washington D.C. because it threatens their power. But change is overwhelmingly popular with the American people. The American people are crying out for serious reform right now…and I believe that it is almost a matter of time before we get it."
ICYMI: Last November, Congressman Gallagher also wrote an op-ed in the Atlantic, which outlined more of his ideas on how to fix Congress.