Presidential hopeful Rick Perry says making Congress a part-time entity is not a radical concept, noting that many state legislatures do not meet all year, every year. The Texas governor also told Fox News’ Sean Hannity Wednesday his proposal for a part-time Congress could help the federal government learn to live within its means.
“You think about it: I think [House Minority Whip] Steny Hoyer or someone of his ilk said that was a radical idea — well, it’s not a radical idea. You think about how many state legislatures meet part-time,” Perry said. “I just left New Hampshire a couple hours ago — they meet part-time and they get their work done. My home state — we meet for 140 days every other year. Texas would be the 13th largest economy in the world if it were a stand-alone entity and we are able to get our work done.
“And the best I can tell, Texas is doing pretty good compared to the rest of the country from the standpoint of job creation,” he said. “So, I think having a part-time Congress with half the staff, half the pay, and let them spend half the time in Washington, D.C. — they have been spending, and I got to figure America is going to be twice as good off, at least.”
Hannity pointed to recent disclosures that members of Congress are exempt from stock market insider-trading laws. Perry noted if elected president he would ensure lawmakers obey their own laws.
“You know, the Freedom of Information Act — they have exempted themselves from that. They don’t have to show the conversations or the emails or the texts — I mean, that’s what Americans are really upset with,” Perry said. “And you think that there’s a party going on in Washington, D.C. — and you know, what? There is a party going on — and it’s on our dime and we are tired of paying for it.
“So, [a] part-time legislature — have them live within the same laws that they’ve passed. That's why — I think that’s the reason the states function as well as they do that have the part-time legislators by and large — you work at a job back home,” he said. “And I [would] change the law where Congress can have a job, outside income where they go back to wherever they are from. And they work, they live within the communities where they are supposed to be and they live within the laws that they passed — it makes sense.”
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