PHOENIX – Former Clinton White House senior aide Andrei Cherny said today that if elected to Congress, he will introduce legislation that holds members of Congress who don’t show up for work accountable.
The “Do Your Job” Act addresses the problem of members who miss a large number of votes to pursue other offices, take junkets or promote themselves at conferences or on television, but would carve out an exception for those who miss votes for medical or family reasons.
“The most basic job of a member of Congress is to show up and vote as a representative of the people,” said Cherny. “Today, too many politicians hold themselves to a different standard than everyone else. In the private sector, if you don’t show up to work, you don’t get paid.”
Cherny’s proposal would dock the annual pay for House members according to the percentage of votes they miss. For example, a member who missed 12 percent of his votes would see his annual pay cut by 12 percent. In 2011, Cherny’s proposal would have saved taxpayers approximately $2 million.
Some members miss large amounts of votes to campaign for higher office. Rep. Michele Bachmann, R-Minn., missed 26 percent of House votes and Rep. Ron Paul, R-Texas, missed more than 20 percent to campaign for president, but both still collected their full $174,000 salaries. [Source: “Congressional Voting Records Show Few With Perfect Attendance,” New York Times, Oct. 31, 2011]