A new bill is finally taking aim at the "shameful" practice for members of Congress to solicit money to finance campaigns — a "shakedown" that should be banned so lawmakers can "get back to work," Rep. David Jolly tells Newsmax TV.
In an interview with "Newsmax Now" hosts John Bachman and Miranda Khan, the freshman Florida lawmaker said the "The STOP Act" he co-sponsored with Minnesota Democratic Rep. Rick Nolan, would prohibit federal elected politicians from personally soliciting contributions.
"This is less campaign finance reform and it's more about get back to work," Jolly says. "What is shocking to me and should be shocking to every American is the amount of time members of Congress are expected — and in some cases required — to spend raising money."
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In an interview to air on CBS News' "60 Minutes" program Sunday, Jolly said he was told his first job as a newly elected congressman was to raise $18,000 a day so he could get re-elected.
"What's not getting done: tax reform, border security, transportation, national security," Jolly tells Newsmax TV, adding America "can do so much better" than the current system of campaign financing.
"What I've suggested is if people want to participate by giving, by waving signs, by making calls, they can still do so," he said. "But let's take the member of Congress out of the equation."
"We are violating the public trust when half your Congress is across the street at party headquarters … shaking down the American people for money."
Jolly, who is at odds with some fellow Republicans on climate change, also is urging GOP lawmakers to stop arguing about the science of climate change.
"Conservatives have better solutions," he said. "Let's accept the science. I believe as a Republican we've fallen into a Democratic trap by suggesting we're going to argue the science. You know what we win on? Policies."
"We can win as conservatives if we fight over the solutions in the contest of ideas," he said. "When we fall into the trap of fighting over the science, I believe we lose politically."
Florida is among the states leading the nation in solar energy, he reports, including one of the largest warehouses in the state going all-solar "because the return on investment now makes sense."
"We fall in a trap over progressive solutions only in Washington over regulation," he said. "One of the first things we need to do is local governments need to begin to underground utilities, raise infrastructures, deal with beach erosion, begin to address protection of life and safety and property. Those are local government solutions that conservatives can also lead on."
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