Seminole, FL – Congressman David Jolly (FL-13) today peeled back the curtain on Washington by introducing legislation that would ban Members of Congress from personally asking people for money. Jolly said the “Stop Act” is needed because too many in Congress spend more time raising money than doing the job they were elected to do.
“We can’t have a part-time Congress in a full-time world,” said Jolly. “Americans wonder why we haven’t defeated ISIS, secured our border, provided health care for veterans, or reduced the national debt. Here’s why. Too many in Congress are more focused on raising money than solving the problems people elected them to fix.”
Specifically, the “Stop Act” would prohibit federal officeholders from directly soliciting political contributions. Elected federal officials would still be permitted to attend fundraisers and speak to donors. Citizens would still be allowed to contribute to campaigns of their choosing. But under no circumstance would federal officeholders be allowed to personally ask people for campaign donations.
This simple fix already applies to judicial elections in 30 states across the country. The U.S. Supreme Court recently upheld the Florida statute that bans judicial candidates from personally asking their supporters for campaign contributions, declaring that a “state’s decision to elect judges does not compel it to compromise public confidence in their integrity.”
Jolly acknowledged that his initiative may make a lot of folks in Washington uncomfortable but said, “staying the course is no longer an option.”
“Why is it always retiring members who gripe about the insane amount of time Congress spends raising money?” Jolly asked, noting a recent New York Times op-ed written by retiring congressman and DCCC chairman Steve Israel who lamented that he spent roughly 4,200 hours on the phone asking people for money while in office.
“It’s time members of Congress stop asking people for money and start doing their jobs. Let’s close the integrity gap and the performance gap of our elected officials by eliminating their fundraising solicitations and put them back to work.”
Last year, Jolly introduced legislation (H.R. 457) to permanently change the standing rules of the House of Representatives to require the House to be in session a minimum of 40-hours a week while in Washington. Jolly said the current congressional calendar is clearly not producing results and the American people rightfully expect their elected officials to work around the clock to tackle the nation’s problems.