PINELLAS COUNTY, Fla. (WFLA) — Congressman David Jolly (R) Pinellas is proposing a “Stop Act” legislative bill that would ban members of Congress from political fundraising while in office.
Jolly claims Congressmen are under pressure from the Republican and Democratic Party leaders to spend 30 hours a week raising money, leaving only 10 hours to do the public’s business.
“This is a Congressional reform that says ‘get back to work,” Jolly said Tuesday at his offices in Seminole, surrounded by about 60 constituents he invited to underline his stated goal of spending more time working for the public and less time filling the coffers of the Republican Party. “We’re going to pull back the curtain on this,” Jolly said.
Most of the people Jolly invited to the announcement said they had no idea there was so much pressure put on sitting members of Congress to raise money and so much spent in private offices working the telephones with potential political donors. Afterward, everyone we interviewed voiced storng support.
“He’s absolutely 100 percent on target in my opinion,” said Bob Spaeth. “When he talked about pulling back the curtain this is what we need I think a lot of young voters will definitely appreciate it,” said David Wilson.
Libby Carnahan brought a personal perspective to the news conference based on a trip she took to Washington a few years ago.”We took students into Congress to see them working and it was really sad to see just a few members on the floor in the middle of the day on a weekday,” Carnahan said.
“Americans wonder why we haven’t defeated ISIS, secured our border, provided health care for veterans, or reduced the national debt. Here’s why. Too many in Congress are more focused on raising money than solving the problems people elected them to fix,” Jolly said in a prepared statement handed out at his news conference.
Jolly admits he expects quite a backlash from Republican Party leaders but he’s pushing forward with his proposal no matter what. “I don’t care,” Jolly said, referencing the chilly reception he expects when he returns to Washington.
Jolly insists he’s not trying to embarrass fellow Congressmen of either party but hopes to inspire them to follow his lead and co-sponsor his legislation. Jolly promised to “take the pledge” and immediately cease his own fundraising activity while the legislation is pending.
In an online commercial already posted on YouTube Jolly says “You and I know Washington won’t like this.”