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Don Beyer on Government Reform

 

 


18-year term limits for Supreme Court justices

The idea of altering the current life tenure of the nine justices is not new: It has been proposed by many legal scholars in a number of forms in the last decade. The justices work largely in secrecy and, as unelected elites, they are often isolated from the daily lives of the millions of people whose lives they affect. On top of this, they have little accountability and serve as long as they like.

In recent decades, the average tenure has been 26 years. Some critics call the Court's system "the framers' mistake." Many believe that this was not something intended or envisioned by the Founding Fathers and have called on Congress to amend the Constitution.

The proposal I endorse is staggered 18-year terms. Every two years, the president would appoint a justice, so that a one-term president would name two Supreme Court justice. There are myriad solutions for these justices' life tenures, such as completing their work on a federal court once their 18-year tour is through.

Source: 2014 Virginia House campaign website, FriendsOfDonBeyer.com , Nov 4, 2014

Public financing of federal campaigns by voter vouchers.

Beyer co-sponsored H.R.20 & S.366

Congressional Summary:<

Supporters reasons for voting YEA:Rep. Sarbanes: Big money warps Congress' priorities and erodes the public's trust in government. This bold new legislation returns voice and power back to the American people:

  1. Empower everyday citizens to fuel Congressional campaigns by providing a My Voice Tax Credit.
  2. Amplify the voices of everyday Americans through a 6-to-1 match.
  3. Prevent Super PACs from drowning out small donor-backed candidates.

Opponents reasons for voting NAY:(Bill Moyers, Feb. 19, 2015): This citizen engagement strategy, particularly when used to court small donors, is not without its critics. Small donors, at least in the current system, often tend to be political ideologues. That trend leaves many asking: won't moving to small donors just empower extremists? Sarbanes counters, if Congress changes the political fundraising rules, they will also change the calculus for "the rational small donor who right now isn't going to give $25 because they've figured out that it's not going to matter." The prospect of a 6-to-1 match might very well impact how those less ideologically extreme potential donors think about political giving.

Source: Government By the People Act 15_H020 on Jan 21, 2015

Statehood for the District of Columbia.

Beyer co-sponsored H.R.317

Congressional Summary: Sets forth procedures for admission into the United States of the state of New Columbia.

Opponents reasons for voting NAY: (DCist.com, Sept. 2014): The Argument Against: Congress does not have the authority to grant statehood to D.C.; the 23rd amendment, which gave D.C. three electoral votes, would have to be repealed before statehood was granted. Washington is a wholly urban, one-industry town, dependent on the federal government far in excess of any other state. Moreover, with Congress no longer having authority over New Columbia but dependent on it, New Columbia could exert influence on the federal government far in excess of any other state.

Supporters reasons for voting YEA: [Rep. Eleanor Holmes Norton, D-DC; the District of Columbia has one representative to Congress and no Senators; Rep. Holmes can introduce bills but her vote does not count]: This 51st state would have no jurisdiction over the federal territory or enclave that now consists of the Washington that Members of Congress and visitors associate with the capital of our country. Those would remain under federal jurisdiction. The New Columbia Admission Act was the first bill I introduced in 1991. Statehood is the only alternative for the citizens of the District of Columbia. To be content with less than statehood is to concede the equality of citizenship that is the birthright of our residents as citizens of the United States.

Source: New Columbia Admission Act 15_H317 on Jan 13, 2015

Automatic voter registration for all citizens.

Beyer co-sponsored H.R.12 & S.1088

Congressional Summary:

Supporters reasons for voting YEA: (BrennanCenter.org): Too many Americans go to vote on Election Day only to find their names are not on the voter rolls--often, wrongly deleted. The US is on the verge of a new paradigm for registering voters: automatic, permanent registration of eligible voters, which would add up to 50 million eligible voters to the rolls.

Opponents reasons for voting NAY: (Gov. Christie's veto message on the "Democracy Act", Nov. 2015): Christie called a provision establishing automatic voter registration that requires New Jerseyan to opt out a "government-knows-best, backwards approach that would inconvenience citizens and waste government resources for no justifiable reason." Automatic voter registration would have added 1.6 million people to the state's voter rolls.

Source: Voter Empowerment Act 15-H12 on Mar 19, 2015

2016-17 Governor, House and Senate candidates on Government Reform: Don Beyer on other issues:
VA Gubernatorial:
Bob McDonnell
Frank Wagner
Ken Cuccinelli
Robert Sarvis
Terry McAuliffe
Tim Kaine
Tom Perriello
VA Senatorial:
Ed Gillespie
James Webb
Mark Warner
Robert Sarvis
Tim Kaine

Newly-elected Democrats as of Jan.2017:
AZ-1:O`Halleran(D)
CA-17:Khanna(D)
CA-20:Panetta(D)
CA-24:Carbajal(D)
CA-44:Barragan(D)
CA-46:Correa(D)
DE-0:Rochester(D)
FL-5:Lawson(D)
FL-7:Murphy(D)
FL-9:Soto(D)
FL-10:Demings(D)
FL-13:Crist(D)
HI-1:Hanabusa(D)
IL-10:Schneider(D)
IL-8:Krishnamoorthi(D)
MD-4:Brown(D)
MD-8:Raskin(D)
NH-1:Shea-Porter(D)
NJ-5:Gottheimer(D)
NV-3:Rosen(D)
NV-4:Kihuen(D)
NY-3:Suozzi(D)
NY-13:Espaillat(D)
PA-2:Evans(D)
TX-15:Gonzalez(D)
VA-4:McEachin(D)
WA-7:Jayapal(D)
Newly-elected Republicans as of Jan.2017:
AZ-5:Biggs(R)
FL-1:Gaetz(R)
FL-2:Dunn(R)
FL-18:Mast(R)
FL-19:Rooney(R)
FL-4:Rutherford(R)
GA-3:Ferguson(R)
IN-3:Banks(R)
IN-9:Hollingsworth(R)
KS-1:Marshall(R)
KY-1:Comer(R)
MI-1:Bergman(R)
MI-10:Mitchell(R)
MN-2:Lewis(R)
NC-13:Budd(R)
NE-2:Bacon(R)
NY-19:Faso(R)
NY-22:Tenney(R)
PA-8:Fitzpatrick(R)
TN-8:Kustoff(R)
TX-19:Arrington(R)
VA-2:Taylor(R)
VA-5:Garrett(R)
WI-8:Gallagher(R)
WY-0:Cheney(R)
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Page last updated: Jun 25, 2017