Policy victories may be few and far between for Rep. Walter Jones (R-NC) since he is far from loved by the GOP leadership in Washington. Still, the congressman helped secure an important pledge from Speaker Paul Ryan (more on that below).
In 2015, Rep. Jones and Rep. Thomas Massie (R-Ky) introduced a bill that sought to end taxpayer funds for the former U.S. House Speaker to set up an office and salary for staff. It appears many lawmakers didn’t even know about the perk. Here is the 2015 Roll Call article on the legislation.
Perhaps most humorous about the action is that yesterday Speaker Ryan took to social media to brag about his support:
For decades, former Speakers of the House have been provided an official government office after leaving Congress. Asking taxpayers to foot this bill is not something I’m willing to do. I fully support
@HouseAppropsGOP‘s legislation to eliminate all funding for former speakers.
Humorous because Rep. Massie pointed out that Speaker Ryan previously blocked the legislation as Speaker. At any rate, dropping the perk is not law quite yet but stands a great chance with Ryan changing his tune. While the savings is far from even being a pittance to our federal budget, it at least reinforces the essential notion that federal elected officials are servants of the people and not our masters. It’s a very small step towards reclaiming our power over the political class that too often rules over us from Washington.
Chalk up an important policy victory for Jones, who also secured a win in his contested primary yesterday. He says if re-elected he will serve one more term. Hopefully, more federal lawmakers from our state will continue to challenge the entrenched power and graft so prevalent in our nation’s capital.