Gov. Perry Unveils "Uproot and Overhaul Washington" Plan
Calls for part-time Congress, ending lifetime appointments for federal judges, elimination of agencies and privatizing TSA, Fannie and Freddie
BETTENDORF, Iowa - Gov. Rick Perry today unveiled his Uproot and Overhaul Washington plan to fundamentally reform the three branches of government and review all federal departments, agencies, and spending programs from the top down.
The governor's Uproot and Overhaul Washington plan includes establishing a part-time, citizen Congress, cutting congressional salaries, ending lifetime appointments of federal judges, issuing an immediate moratorium on new and pending federal regulations, and dismantling wasteful, redundant federal agencies, Gov. Perry announced his plan at the Schebler Manufacturing Facility in Bettendorf, Iowa.
Gov. Perry's full plan
can be viewed at
"Washington is too broken to be fixed by tinkering on the margins," said Gov. Perry. "I do not believe Washington needs a new coat of paint, it needs a complete overhaul. We need to uproot, tear down and rebuild Washington, D.C. and our federal institutions.
"Washington is so broken, Americans will accept nothing less than a complete overhaul of the way business is done in America. We need new leadership. We need a new builder. We need a Washington Outsider. Unique to the Republican field, I have never been an establishment figure. My career has been that of a Washington outsider."
Gov. Perry's plan will reform the federal judiciary by ending lifetime appointments of all unelected federal judges. He will champion a constitutional amendment to prospectively institute 18-year terms for the Supreme Court, staggered every two years, so that justices are replaced in order of seniority every other year. This will instill regularity to the nominations process, discourage justices from choosing a retirement date based on politics and put an end to the ever-increasing tenure of justices.
Second, the governor's plan calls for fundamental reform of the legislative branch by establishing a part-time, citizen Congress that cuts in half their salaries, office budgets and time in Washington. Additionally, if Congress cannot balance the budget by 2020, as the governor has previously called for, their salaries should be cut in half again. Gov. Perry will also work to freeze Congressional and federal civilian salaries until the budget is balanced, holding Congress accountable to the American people.
"Congress is out of touch because Congressmen are overpaid, over-staffed and away from home too much," said Gov. Perry. "It's time to create a part-time Congress where their pay is cut in half, their office budgets are cut in half, and their time in Washington is cut in half. And if they do not submit a budget that balances by 2020 as my plan calls for, we should cut their pay in half again."
Gov. Perry also noted recent abuse by Congressional members of insider information that has been used to enhance their stock portfolios, and is calling for the criminalization of such insider trading by members of Congress. Not only will that be a part of the governor's government reform plan, but he is also calling on Congress to pass such a law immediately (watch Gov. Perry's video calling for an end to this practice at http://bit.ly/uj73gl).
The governor added, "Congress has proven it can't be trusted to watch our money, and now its clear they can't be trusted with theirs. Any Congressman or Senator that uses their insider knowledge to profit in the stock market ought to be sent to jail - period."
Third, Gov. Perry's plan will reform congressional spending, through measures that include:
"No longer will we prop up failed entities like Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, which were at the heart of the economic collapse because of mortgage financing policies that gave false confidence to homebuyers who have now defaulted or are under water," said Gov. Perry. "We will privatize Fannie and Freddie so politicians can no longer politicize them, and taxpayers will no longer be fleeced by them."
The governor's plan will also eliminate the departments of Commerce, Education and Energy, moving key programs, like National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, National Nuclear Security Administration and civil rights programs, among others, to more appropriate federal departments. The Environmental Protection Agency and Department of Homeland Security will be completely restructured and reformed, and the Transportation Security Administration will be transitioned to a public-private partnership.
"We will perform a full audit of the federal government, and there will be no sacred cows, including wasteful spending at the Department of Defense, where every dollar we spend should support our warfighters around the world," Gov. Perry said. "And we will say to every bureaucrat: no salary increases until the federal budget is balanced. And because a president must lead by example, we should cut his salary in half until the budget is balanced."
Additionally, the governor reiterated his call for a moratorium on all pending federal regulations, an audit of every regulation promulgated since 2008 and subsequent repeal of any regulations that are not found to be affordable, effective and compatible with job creation.
Gov. Perry's plan is the third in a series of key policy initiatives Gov. Perry has unveiled in the last several weeks, including his Cut, Balance and Grow plan and his Energizing American Jobs and Security plan. Cut, Balance and Grow cuts personal and business tax rates to a lower, flat 20 percent rate, cuts federal spending, ends earmarks and corporate loopholes and calls for a federal Balanced Budget Amendment. Energizing American Jobs and Security will create up to 1.2 million jobs in every sector, reduce our nation's dependence on hostile foreign oil, revitalize manufacturing and help contain the cost of electricity and fuel.
To view Gov. Perry's
full plan, please visit
To view the governor's
remarks announcing his plan, please visit
For more information about Gov. Perry's record, presidential campaign and plan to get America working again, please visit: www.rickperry.org.
I want to say a special thanks to Jim Anderson, your president, for opening your facility to us, and letting us meet the hardworking men and women of this plant. And I am especially delighted to be joined by the governor of a nearby Midwestern state, Kansas governor Sam Brownback.
Governor Brownback not only has the perspective of a leader in America’s heartland, but was a United States Senator, where he had an up-close view of just how broken Washington is, and has witnessed Washington’s encroachment on the 10th Amendment from both perspectives. He shares my desire for fundamental reform in Washington, and I am delighted to be joined by him today here in Iowa.
The issue this election is not whether Washington is broken, but how we go about fixing it. There are two approaches, and even my own party is split.
There are some who want to tinker with the status quo. They want to work within the current system to achieve marginal change. Then there are those who believe, as I do, that Washington is too broken to be fixed by tinkering on the margins.
I do not believe Washington needs a new coat of paint, it needs a complete overhaul. We need to uproot, tear down and rebuild Washington, D.C. and our federal institutions.
We should apply the wisdom of Solomon to Washington. Ecclesiastes, Chapter 3, says, “there is a time to plant and a time to uproot, there is a time to tear down and a time to build.”
It is time to tear down the monuments to bureaucratic failure, and in their place build a smaller, more efficient federal government that puts the American People first.
The Washington Insiders won’t address Beltway decay, they won’t try a totally new way, because they like things as they are.
The lobbyists make their living on protecting corporate loopholes, and securing earmarks for the special interests they represent.
The status quo is good to the Washington Insiders. It’s good to the overpaid bureaucrats. It’s good for the power-players who can trade favors to build fiefdoms of influence.
While the rest of America remains mired in the ruin caused by Washington’s out-of–touch, big government economic policies, Washington is doing fine.
In fact, the Washington metro area is now the most affluent metropolitan area in the country. That’s because all the lobbyists, contractors and over-paid czars and bureaucrats haven’t suffered one bit in the worst economy in 70 years. While Main Street’s windows have been boarded up, the cash continues to flow to Wall Street financiers and Beltway profiteers.
Let me ask you a question: if you found out the house you built had crumbling walls, faulty wiring, and a leaky roof, would you call in the original incompetent builder to fix it?
And if it was fundamentally flawed, would you add on to the same faulty structure, or would you tear it down, and re-build again with a totally new crew?
Our country’s foundation – the American people and the United States Constitution – is still strong.
It’s what the politicians and bureaucrats have built upon that foundation, on the backs of American taxpayers, that must be replaced and rebuilt.
Those who got us into this mess will not get us out. Those who increased the debt $4 trillion in three years cannot be trusted to bring in a new era of fiscal austerity. Those who made the economic crisis worse do not have the capacity to make it better.
In recent weeks our president has taken to pointing the finger of blame instead of taking responsibility. He has called us soft and lazy, and he has said Americans lack ambition and imagination.
Mr. President, Americans aren’t soft or lazy, and Americans do not lack ambition of imagination, Washington has failed us.
We need new leadership. We need a new builder. We need a Washington Outsider.
Unique to the Republican field, I have never been an establishment figure, have never served in Congress or part of an Administration, and have never been a paid lobbyist. My career has been that of a Washington Outsider.
Here is my plan to fix our three broken branches of government.
Part one of my plan is to reform the federal judiciary by ending life terms for unelected federal judges. Too many federal judges rule with impunity from the bench, and those who legislate from the bench should not be entitled to lifetime abuse of their judicial authority.
Under my plan, future appointees to the federal bench will not receive a lifetime appointment.
Part two involves deconstructing the permanent political class in the legislative branch. Congress is out of touch because Congressmen are overpaid, over-staffed and away from home too much. Americans have had enough.
It’s time to create a part-time Congress where their pay is cut in half, their office budgets are cut in half, and their time in Washington is cut in half.
And if they do not submit a budget that balances by 2020, as my plan calls for, we should cut their pay in half again.
And when I take office, we will work to freeze congressional and agency salaries until the budget is balanced.
We have a lot of well-intentioned members of Congress. But they have become creatures of Washington. They get paid more than three times the average American Family, and they have doubled their own budgets in the last decade.
They are completely detached from the people, who are struggling to get by, and can’t vote to raise their own pay.
Some have even abused the public’s trust, trading on inside information to pad their stock portfolios. Congress has proven it can’t be trusted to watch our money, and now its clear they can’t be trusted with theirs’.
Any Congressman or Senator that uses their insider knowledge to profit in the stock market ought to be sent to jail – period.
And my plan makes that clear. But in reality, they shouldn’t wait until we have a new president, they ought to pass a law right now that criminalizes Insider Trading in Congress, no ifs, ands or buts.
We send members of Congress to look out for America, not enrich themselves. But too often, they are taken captive by the Washington culture.
That’s why we need a part-time Congress. I say send them home to live under the laws they pass among the people they represent.
Further, we must change the spending culture in Congress.
No more bailouts of bankers, no more earmarks for pet projects, and no more spending beyond our means.
I will bring spending down to 18 percent of GDP, the average amount of the last 50 years. And I will fight in every corner of this country for a balanced budget amendment to the US Constitution.
And two more points on spending: no longer will we prop up failed entities like Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, which were at the heart of the economic collapse because of mortgage financing policies that gave false confidence to homebuyers who have now defaulted or are under water.
We will privatize Fannie and Freddie so politicians can no longer politicize them, and taxpayers will no longer be fleeced by them.
And lastly, we will put a permanent stop to federal funding of Planned Parenthood because our tax dollars should never be used in taking an innocent, unborn life.
The third part of my plan involves the dismantling and rebuilding of the permanent bureaucracy.
We will eliminate agencies that perform redundant functions. I will get rid of the Commerce Department, the Department of Education, and the Department of Energy.
We will downsize and re-task the EPA so it no longer torments job creators or gives an official stamp to phony science.
We will end the TSA’s harassment of law-abiding travelers and return transportation security to the private sector.
And we will restructure the behemoth that has become the Department of Homeland Security.
We will perform a full audit of the Federal Government, and there will be no sacred cows, including wasteful spending at the Department of Defense, where every dollar we spend should support our warfighters around the world.
We will put a moratorium on every pending federal regulation, and order a full audit of the last five years of new regulations, repealing those that are not affordable, effective or that kill jobs.
And we will say to every bureaucrat except our military and law enforcement: no salary increases until the federal budget is balanced. And because a president must lead by example, we should cut his salary in half until the budget is balanced.
Washington is so broken, Americans will accept nothing less than a complete overhaul of the way business is done in America.
Americans know there is a season for everything under the sun. And this is the season for tearing down and rebuilding again, for uprooting the broken branches of government in Washington, and building a new government that is smaller and more humble, so America can be stronger and freer again.