Speaking from the well of the U.S. House of Representatives on Wednesday, Congressman David Jolly made what he called one of the most “uncomfortable” speeches he will ever give.
The Pinellas County Republican asked for co-sponsors to his STOP act, a proposal that would ban all federally elected officials from fundraising while on the job.
“Members of Congress might have a quiet anger, but the American people have a very loud anger, and understand that we are not not accomplishing things here, because we are spending too much time raising money,” he said in a five-and-a-half minute speech. “Let’s turn that anger into resolve and change this body, and change Washington forever.”
Jolly’s proposal has been ridiculed as a gimmick by opponents in his Senate race this year, but his bill has picked up six co-sponsors in the House, including Minnesota Democrat Richard Nolan.
He spoke next to a blown-up slide that he said came from an orientation meeting for members of Congress that called for lawmakers to spend four hours a day raising money for their re-election bids. Bemoaning the fact that retired or soon-to be-retired D.C. lawmakers will lament the demands to raise money, Jolly called on his colleagues to join him now in supporting the STOP Act.
“I stand here not to judge my colleagues, I stand here trying to change the system,” he said dramatically. “Let’s restore credibility to this House. Let’s honor the greatness of this body with greatness of integrity, greatness of commitment, greatness of resolve.”
Jolly is running for the GOP nomination for U.S. Senate against Carlos Lopez-Cantera, Ron DeSantis and Todd Wilcox. A Florida Atlantic Universal poll shows him leading the race with 28 percent support.