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I hope that the members of the joint committee will endorse this simple rule change and support a measure aimed at true reform.

Mr. Chairman, thank you again for this opportunity to testify.

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TILLIE K. FOWLER 4TH DISTRICT, PRIDA

Congress of the United States

House of Representatives
Washington, DC 20515-0904

STATEMENT BY REP. TILLIE FOWLER
TO JOINT COMMITTEE ON ORGANIZATION OF CONGRESS

February 4, 1993

THANK YOU MR. CHAIRMAN AND MEMBERS OF THE COMMITTEE FOR
ALLOWING ME TO ADDRESS YOU TODAY ABOUT WHAT I THINK IS
PARAMOUNT TO THE FUTURE OF THIS INSTITUTION ... CONGRESSIONAL
REFORM.

DURING MY CAMPAIGN, THE SALARY OF THE DEPUTY DOOR KEEPER
BECAME AN ISSUE. THE VOTERS OF THE FOURTH CONGRESSIONAL
DISTRICT IN FLORIDA COULD NOT BELIEVE THAT THIS POSITION PAID
$104,000. EVERY WHERE I WENT, WHETHER IT WAS ROTARY, THE
KIWANIS CLUB, CHAMBER OF COMMERCE OR THE LEAGUE OF WOMEN
VOTERS, OUTRAGE WAS EXPRESSED TIME AND TIME AGAIN ABOUT THE
ABUSES OF THE SYSTEM.

ON THE TAIL OF BOUNCED CHECKS, UNPAID MEAL TABS AND POST
OFFICE SCANDAL, THE VOTERS ARE DEMANDING WE DO MORE THAN
JUST HIRE AN ADMINISTRATOR FOR THE BUSINESS OF THE HOUSE.
THEY EXPECT US TO IMPLEMENT REAL REFORM ...THIS IS THE ONLY WAY
THAT WE WILL BE ABLE TO REGAIN THEIR TRUST AND BE ABLE TO GET
ON WITH THE BUSINESS OF BEING CITIZEN REPRESENTATIVES....

CITIZEN REPRESENTATION... THAT IS WHAT THIS HOUSE IS SUPPOSED
TO BE ALL ABOUT....BUT HOW CAN WE BE TRUE CITIZEN
REPRESENTATIVES IF WE HAVE A SYSTEM THAT ALLOWS COMMITTEE
CHAIRMEN TO SERVE FOR AN UNLIMITED AMOUNT OF TIME. I WOULD
URGE MY COLLEAGUES ON THE OTHER SIDE OF THE AISLE TO ADOPT
RULES SIMILAR TO THOSE ADOPTED BY THE REPUBLICANS... STATING
THAT COMMITTEE CHAIRMEN CAN ONLY SERVE SIX YEARS....

Tillie K. Fowler
Page two

AS YOU MAY KNOW, I SUPPORT TERM LIMITS FOR BOTH THE HOUSE AND
SENATE...IN FACT I HAVE FILED A BILL LIMITING MEMBERS OF THE
HOUSE TO EIGHT YEARS AND MEMBERS OF THE SENATE TO TWELVE
YEARS. I WOULD URGE MEMBERS OF THIS COMMITTEE TO PROMOTE
TERM LIMITS FOR COMMITTEE CHAIRMANSHIPS AS WELL. THOMAS
JEFFERSON RECOGNIZED THE IMPORTANCE OF ROTATION IN OFFICE
.... TODAY, MORE THAN EVER, WE NEED TO HEED PRESIDENT JEFFERSON'S
ADVICE.

YESTERDAY, I WAS WITNESS TO ANOTHER NEEDED REFORM THAT NEEDS
TO BE INSTITUTED...MEMBERS, REPUBLICANS AND DEMOCRATS ALIKE,
SHOULD BE ABLE TO HAVE ACCESS TO THE COMMITTEE REPORT FOR
THE BILL THREE DAYS PRIOR TO THE VOTE FOR FINAL PASSAGE. WHEN
I WORKED ON THE HILL 20 YEARS AGO, COMMITTEE REPORTS SEEMED
TO ACCOMPANY BILLS. IT IS BEYOND MY COMPREHENSION AS TO WHY
MEMBERS CAN'T RECEIVE A COMMITTEE REPORT IN A TIMELY MANNER.
THIS CONGRESS HAS MORE THAN DOUBLED THE NUMBER OF ITS STAFF
IN THE PAST TWENTY YEARS...BUT IT CAN'T SEEM TO PERFORM THE
SAME LEVEL OF WORK. DOES THE FAULT FALL WITH THE STAFF OR A
SYSTEM THAT HAS BECOME VICTIM TO POLITICAL MANIPULATION
DEPRIVING MEMBERS ACCESS TO INFORMATION?

I ALSO THINK THAT A COMPLETE REVIEW OF COMMITTEES, SUBCOMMITTEES, AND THEIR STAFF SHOULD TAKE PLACE. A ZEROBASED BUDGET APPROACH IF YOU WILL SHOULD BE IMPLEMENTED TO REVIEW EACH COMMITTEE AND ITS USEFULNESS. I BELIEVE THAT THIS CONGRESS WOULD BE ABLE TO OPERATE WITH A FEW LESS COMMITTEES AND COMMITTEE STAFF.

MR. CHAIRMAN, I COMMEND YOU AND THE MEMBERS OF THE COMMITTEE
FOR TAKING TIME TO SOLICIT THE VIEWS OF THE MEMBERS...AS I SEE
IT, YOU LEAD ONE OF THE MOST SERIOUS TASKS FACING THIS
CONGRESS....I WISH YOU WELL IN YOUR DELIBERATIONS AND LOOK
FORWARD TO WORKING CLOSELY WITH YOU TO INSTITUTE THE
REFORMS NEEDED TO GIVE THE AMERICAN PEOPLE A CONGRESS OF
WHICH THEY CAN BE PROUD OF...A CONGRESS THAT IS TRULY
RESPONSIVE TO THE NEEDS OF THE PEOPLE OF AMERICA....

THANK YOU.

STATEMENT

OF THE
HON. CHARLES T. CANADY

TO THE
JOINT COMMITTEE ON THE ORGANIZATION OF CONGRESS

February 4, 1993

Mr. Chairman, distinguished members of the committee... I am here today to praise the mission of this committee and to speak...

from the perspective of a new member of Congress.. to one key

element of reform: limiting the length of time

member may serve as

chairman of a given committee.

Many of my colleagues in the House of Representatives were sent here on a mission similar to your own... to reform Congress.

This mission was defined by a roiling tide of voter dissatisfaction

with their Congress..

Evidence of that dissatisfaction can be found in the broad-based

support of the people for limiting the length of service for their elected

representatives.

It has often been observed that public office is a public trust...

As such.. public offices must be used only for the good of the

country and not for individual benefit.

That message echoed resoundingly in the land just this past

November.

It is time for us... the members of Congress... to listen to that

message.

Thus far.. 15 states.. nearly one third of the Union.. have

enacted some form of term limits on elected officials.

'In my own state of Florida.. a term limits referendum passed

with overwhelming support.. seventy-seven percent of the voters.. three-and-one-half million people.. voted in favor of limiting the length

of time any one politician may hold a particular office.

If elected offices are public trusts.. then we owe it to the

people to be worthy of that trust.

We owe it to the people to ensure that the committees serve the

will of the people and not the whim of individual members.

We all have seen committees that have been dominated by the

same chairman for many years.

Such committees often become fiefdoms for that individual.

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