NASHUA – In classic anti-Washington style, Republican 2nd District U.S. House candidate Gary Lambert appeared outside of U.S. Rep. Ann Kuster’s office in Nashua Tuesday to roll out a series of pledges he said he will follow if elected – promises he hopes will show a commitment to being accountable to constituents.
Lambert’s “Wake Up Washington” pledge is a five-point plan that begins with a proposal that has not been seriously discussed for at least a decade – term limits.
He promises that if elected, he will serve no more than three terms, or six years because, he said, “serving in Congress should not be a career.”
Lambert would also refuse to take a congressional pension. If he must take it, he said, he will donate the money to charity. He said a pension should not be “for people who are temporarily serving the public.”
He said would refuse his salary, or donate it to charity, if Congress fails to pass a budget. The “No Budget No Pay” plan was first practiced by some Republicans in Congress, who voluntarily donated their salaries to charity during the government shutdown in 2013.
“Harry Reid’s Democratic Senate didn’t pass a budget three years in a row from 2010 through 2012,” Lambert said. “I believe in getting paid for doing a job only if I’ve actually done my job. Therefore, if Congress fails to pass a budget, I will refuse my salary or donate it to charity.”
The “No Budget No Pay Act” passed the House and Senate in 2013 but it applied only to the 2013 and the debt ceiling/government shutdown debate at the time.
Lambert would expand that idea to apply to his own pay at any time in the future a budget is in limbo and would encourage other House members to do the same.
Lambert would also oppose “any kind of pay or benefit increase for members of Congress.”
And if elected, Lambert said, he would not send out mass taxpayer-funded mailings to constituents, known as franking. He said such mail is nothing more than political material and is “a completely unacceptable use of taxpayer money.”
Kuster has reportedly spent $293,000 on taxpayer-funded mailing since taking office in January 2013.
Lambert challenged Kuster to make the same ‘Wake Up Washington’ promises, charging that she believes “the only people she is accountable to are President Obama, Nancy Pelosi and special interests.”
Lambert said each of the practices he has promised to limit or end “contribute to an abused and broken system in Washington. Franking, pensions, life-long politicians, voting yourself a pay raise and getting paid for not doing your job all play a large part in how dysfunctional Washington has become. They show us that Washington politicians don’t feel they are accountable to their constituents.”