O'Halleran Introduces Five Bills To Clean Up Washington, Hold Lawmakers Accountable
WASHINGTON – Today, Congressman Tom O’Halleran (AZ-01) introduced five ethics and transparency bills aimed at cleaning up corruption in Washington and restoring faith in Congress. The legislation cracks down on lawmakers’ and bureaucrats’ use of private jets and first-class flights, helps end the revolving door from Congress to lucrative lobbying jobs, protects Department of Defense funds from being used for unethical travel, ends special perks for members of Congress, prevents government shutdowns, and protects the independent Office of Congressional ethics from political threats.
“When I was elected to Congress, I made a commitment to clean up Washington and end the special taxpayer-funded perks for elected officials and bureaucrats. The first bills I introduced would have protected an ethics watchdog office, banned first-class flights for members of Congress, and frozen Congressional salaries, among other things, and I am proud to re-introduce them today,” said O’Halleran. “We must hold our government leaders to the highest standards, and with so many high-profile ethics violations in the past years, it is clear we have failed to do that. No matter who controls Congress or the White House, we have to hold everyone accountable regardless of party. I will continue working with my colleagues on both sides of the aisle to increase transparency in Washington.”
In the 115th Congress, O’Halleran introduced the CLEAN Act, NOPE Act, and Taxpayers DIME Act. Each of these ethics bills are being re-introduced today. In addition, O’Halleran introduced two new bills – the Protecting Defense Dollars Act and No Outbound Flights if Government Halts to a Stop (NO FLIGHTS) Act – to increase transparency of unethical use of military resources and to require lawmakers to continue working and remain in Washington, DC during a government shutdown.
- The No Outbound Flights for Lawmakers If Government Halts To a Stop (NO FLIGHTS) Act, which requires the Speaker to hold the House in session every day during a shutdown (including partial shutdown) and prohibits official funds from being used for Member travel during a shutdown, forcing Congress to stay in DC and work together to end it.
- The Clean Legislating and Ethical Accountability Now (CLEAN) Act, which makes permanent in statute the independent Office of Congressional Ethics, which is currently required to be renewed every two years through a Rules package. The CLEAN Act will remove partisan political attempts to gut the OCE behind closed doors.
- The No Ongoing Perks Enrichment (NOPE) Act, which would prohibit first-class flights for members of Congress and staff, freeze Congressional pay, withhold pay unless a budget is passed, and increase the lobbying ban for members of Congress and staff from two years to five years.
- The Taxpayers Don’t Incur Meaningless Expenses (Taxpayers DIME) Act, which ensures no taxpayer money is spent on government air travel that violates rules applied to senior federal officials, increases transparency and oversight of government travel, and calls for the independent Office of Government Ethics (OGE) to report on ways to strengthen existing rules.
- The Protecting Defense Dollars Act, which directs DOD to provide Congress quarterly reports that detail the direct and indirect costs to the Department in support of presidential travel, including any costs incurred for travel to properties owned or operated by the President or his immediate family.