Wednesday, January 24, 2007

House Passes Member Pension Reform Bill

The Hill covers it here, including the Democrats' backing off on pushing the effective date back two years:

The House yesterday unanimously passed reform legislation after Democratic leaders pulled a provision that would have let lawmakers convicted in the 110th Congress keep their pensions.

Republicans led bipartisan opposition to the provision, which was inserted to parallel the Senate bill but would have delayed the pension-rights reform until Jan. 1, 2009.

Several Republicans who sponsored similar reform legislation in the 109th Congress lined up to protest when they heard that the provision had been added.

Rumor on the floor had it that withdrawal of the controversial provision had been so hasty that it was handed to the clerk written on a napkin.

I believe this report is inaccurate in one critical aspect, however. The reporter (suspiciously named 'Kucinich') implies that the amendment which may have been written on a napkin would have moved up the effective date to the date of enactment. But if you look at the text of the bill as introduced here, you see that was the effective date all along. So the amendment on the napkin would have pushed it back to 2009.

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