Stephanie Murphy touts congressional pay-freeze, no-budget no-pay bills

Stephanie Murphy in campaign ad

A new television commercial being launched by Democratic U.S. Rep. Stephanie Murphy touts legislation she backed to tighten accountability in Congress by restricting pay and future lobbying careers.

“We have got to hold Congress accountable,” she declares.

The 30-second commercial, “Accountable”, includes video of Murphy first teaching responsibility to her children, saying they can’t get their allowances if they don’t first do their chores. And then she draws a parallel with Congress, saying members must be held accountable for their jobs.

The commercial is launching today in the Orlando market and a 15-second version will be launched as a digital ad on the Internet.

Murphy faces Republican state Rep. Mike Miller in the Nov. 6 election for Florida’s 7th Congressional District covering Seminole County and central Orange County.

“We teach our kids to be responsible. It’s time we do that with Congress, too,” she says in the commercial. “It’s why I’m taking on politics as usual: to ban members of Congress from becoming lobbyists, ever; freeze congressional pay; and force them to do their jobs.”

Specifically, Murphy is referring to two bills that she sponsored or cosponsored. Both drew bipartisan cosponsors, but no hearings. House Resolution 5946, introduced last May, would set a lifetime ban on members of Congress becoming lobbyists and freeze congressional pay. House Resolution 1779, introduced in May 2017, would require that members of Congress not get their paychecks if they do not first approve a federal budget.

Murphy got behind the bills declaring that they would hold members of Congress accountable. The two bills had little chance of being approved, though, in part because, if there are enough members of Congress who are so reliant on their paychecks to make differences, those members also would be needed to vote in favor of the bills to restrict their paychecks. Murphy’s personal financial disclosures indicated she is not among those whose personal finances would be significantly affected by missed paychecks.

HR 1779, the “No Budget, No Pay Act”, picked up 24 cosponsors but never got a committee referral.

HR 5946, the “Foster Accountability, Integrity, Trust, and Honor in Congress Act [FAITH in Congress Act”] picked up two cosponsors and was referred to several congressional committees. But it stalled the same day it was referred, receiving no committee actions.

Miller’s campaign responded by declaring, ““It is easy to file sham legislation that is going nowhere and throw around moderate ideas that sound good in political ads.

“In her latest ad, Congresswoman Murphy says she wants to hold members of Congress accountable. Mike couldn’t agree more,” the Miller campaign’s response added. “Central Florida needs a strong voice in Washington representing our values.”

Scott Powers

Scott Powers is an Orlando-based political journalist with 30+ years’ experience, mostly at newspapers such as the Orlando Sentinel and the Columbus Dispatch. He covers local, state and federal politics and space news across much of Central Florida. His career earned numerous journalism awards for stories ranging from the Space Shuttle Columbia disaster to presidential elections to misplaced nuclear waste. He and his wife Connie have three grown children. Besides them, he’s into mystery and suspense books and movies, rock, blues, basketball, baseball, writing unpublished novels, and being amused. Email him at [email protected].


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