After a week of recess, Congress is back in session today. Today also marks the first day Congress is back in session without Jason Chaffetz. Mr. Chaffetz resigned earlier this year. Why he resigned is the real story.
It wasn’t a scandal, as too often it is when a member of Congress fails to finish his or her term. No, the reason for the resignation: money.
Mr. Chaffetz has come forward with details of a practice of which much of the American public is undoubtedly unaware. As is evidently the practice in both parties, if a Congressman desires to hold a leadership position or a committee chairmanship, he or she must commit to earning a certain dollar amount, a significant amount, of campaign contributions for his or her party.
Granted, the money isn’t coming from the Congressperson’s own pocket, but this could be reasonably interpreted as having the same ethical effect of a pay to play scheme. It prices those who should be leading our Congress – and it is OUR Congress – out of the leadership market. The ones who should be in charge in Washington are those who place a greater emphasis on solving legislative problems than financing future elections so they can stay in power.
I’ve previously written in this space about the need for Congressional term limits. This is exactly why term limits are needed.
Additionally, this practice raises two questions:
Who is making the decision to require this practice? Who is pulling the strings? Why doesn’t Congress prohibit this practice?
Because it’s about retaining power first and working for the taxpayers second.
And that’s backwards.