I am by no means a big Rick Perry fan, and readily acknowledge his frequent debate gaffes have relegated him to also-ran status in the battle of attrition that is the race for the GOP presidential nomination.
But there is an idea of his I find interesting that I would love to see receive more attention.
Perry is an advocate of a part-time, “citizen” Congress, as he says was intended all along by our nation’s founding fathers. He points to how Texas has a state legislature that is limited by the Texas Constitution to being in session for a maximum of 140 calendar days every other year. State legislators in Texas make $600 per month, or $7,200 per year, plus a per diem of $150 for every day in session. That adds up to $28,200 a year for a regular session (140 days).
Now surely the 140 days every other year is completely unrealistic for the U.S. Congress, which can’t seem to get anything done despite full-time status. Still, I can’t help but feel a bit sympathetic toward the reasoning for a part-time Congress, where our elected representatives would actually have to hold down private sector jobs and live under the laws they pass. Here are a couple of paragraphs about the idea from Perry’s own campaign website: