Dold Encourages Inclusion of His “No Pensions for Felons” Legislation in STOCK Act

From the office of Rep. Robert Dold (Ill., 10th District)…

Congressman Dold issued the following statement after the United States Senate included the Blumenthal/Kirk Amendment to their version of the STOCK Act:

“I am pleased to see that the United States Senate unanimously agreed to include the ‘No Pensions for Felons’ language to S. 2038, the Senate’s version of the STOCK Act. I call on the United States House of Representatives to do the same and include my bipartisan legislation, H.R. 2162, in the House version of the STOCK Act. If we are serious about restoring public trust to the federal government then we must strengthen current law by ending pensions for Members convicted of public corruption crimes, especially if committed while serving in any publicly-elected position following their time in Congress. American taxpayers should not foot the bill for Members of Congress who break the law and violate the public trust. I have said since day one that the No Pensions for Felons Act should pass unanimously out of both the House and Senate. The Senate took action today and I look forward to the House doing the same.”

Background Information:

Congressman Dold introduced H.R. 2162, The Congressional Integrity and Pension Forfeiture Act of 2011, would add twenty new public corruption offenses to existing U.S. law that cancels federal pensions for convicted lawmakers and would revoke the pensions of former Members of Congress who are convicted of committing the covered public corruption crimes while serving as any elected official. Under current law, former Congressman, Illinois Governor, and now convicted felon, Rod Blagojevich is still eligible to collect his roughly $15,000 per year congressional retirement payments because he committed his crimes after he left Congress. This legislation would ensure that in the future, felons like Blagojevich would forfeit their taxpayer-funded pensions accrued during their congressional service.

Rep. Dold introduced the pension forfeiture bill to block pension benefits for elected officials who have broken the public’s trust and to protect American taxpayers from yet another wasteful allocation of their hard earned tax dollars during times of fiscal hardship. According to the National Taxpayers Union, former Members of Congress who committed public corruption crimes are currently receiving more than $800,000 per year in taxpayer-funded pensions. This figure would be much higher if it included convicted lawmakers not yet eligible to receive their pensions or whose cases are pending. Senator Kirk introduced the same bill in the U.S. Senate.

Today, the United States Senate agreed by voice vote to include the Blumenthal/Kirk Amendment in the Senate’s version of the STOCK Act. The Blumenthal/Kirk Amendment would amend the STOCK Act to include the Senate’s version of the Dold’s bill, H.R. 2162, also known as the ‘No Pensions for Felons’ bill.

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