BETTENDORF, Iowa – Republican presidential candidate Rick Perry said Tuesday that if elected he would end lifetime appointments for federal judges and slash the pay for federal lawmakers, effectively turning Congress into a part-time institution.
In a speech laying out how he would “uproot and overhaul” Washington, the Texas governor suggested that his Washington outsider background – unlike some of his GOP rivals – would help him succeed at changing the city’s culture.
Until he jumped into the presidential race in August, Perry spent his entire political career in his home state of Texas.
The plan Perry rolled out at a heating and cooling company in Iowa also calls for requiring a two-thirds vote in Congress for any tax increases, halting all proposed federal regulations and criminalizing insider trading by Washington lawmakers.
Perry includes the president in the call for a pay cut and said lawmakers’ pay would be halved again – or essentially slashed by three-fourths – if the federal budget isn’t balanced by 2020.
The president’s annual salary is $400,000. Members of Congress not in leadership positions earn $174,000 a year.
“We should cut the salary of the president of the United States in half until that budget is balanced,” he said.