RELEASE: Rep. Khanna & Rep. Norman Introduce Bipartisan Legislation to End Lifetime Congressional Benefits
Washington, DC – Rep. Ro Khanna (CA-17) and Rep. Ralph Norman (SC-05) have introduced the Stop Congressional Retirees’ Accessing Perks (SCRAP) Act, H.R. 4981, a bill that would eliminate several unnecessary and costly perks for former members of Congress. Members of Congress receive a variety of benefits during their time in office. Many of these same privileges are still permanently available and in effect after they leave Congressional office. These include access to the House and Senate floors and gyms, healthcare benefits, and free parking on Capitol grounds. These special privileges are unseemly, out of reach to most Americans, and corrosive to the high standards Americans should expect of their elected representatives.
The SCRAP Act would end many of these benefits after they leave office, including:
- Death gratuities for spouses and family;
- Participation in the Federal Employees Retirement System, but still able to maintain their TSP accounts;
- Healthcare benefits;
- Access to House and Senate floors, and member gyms and dining rooms;
- Free parking on Capitol grounds and at DC-area airports;
- Access to House and Senate document rooms; and
- Use of collections in the House Legislative Resource Center and Senate Library without borrowing privileges.
“Former members of Congress should play by the same rules as every day Americans who work for a living before retiring. It is time to end the luxuries that former members of Congress still receive after they leave office at the expense of Americans’ tax dollars. These lifetime perks have to go in order to clean up a Congress under the influence of special interests. By ending the access currently allowed to current members, like access to the House and Senate floors and member gyms and dining rooms, we can build a stronger democracy for and by the people, not former elected,” said Congressman Khanna.
“Members of Congress are elected to serve their constituents, not to reap numerous perks for the rest of their lives once they leave office. Most Americans do not have similar lifetime benefits when they leave their job,” said Congressman Norman. “For example, retired members still have the same amount of access throughout the Capitol complex, and over 430 former members of Congress are now lobbyists, representing special interest groups – giving them special, direct contact to sitting members writing legislation. Lifetime access to this exclusive circle keeps them in that circle, and distances former members from the experiences of everyday Americans.”
About the Office
Congressman Khanna represents the 17th District of California, which covers communities in Silicon Valley. Visit his website at khanna.house.gov. Follow him on Facebook and Twitter @RepRoKhanna. Khanna Press Office: 202-225-2631