Staci Appel — the Democratic candidate in Iowa’s third congressional district — is promoting what she calls a “no perks pledge.”
“You know, we’re all frustrated with congress and it’s got absolutely nothing done, but it’s found time to enjoy a long list of perks funded by taxpayers,” Appel says.
Appel is citing several “perks” she’d refuse if she’s elected to the U.S. House. Appel says she’d vote to freeze congressional pay until congress raises the minimum wage and passes another measure to ensure women are paid the same rate as men get for the same job.
“I think it’s about priorities,” Appel says. “…I don’t believe members of congress should get a raise until every Iowan is getting a fair shot at getting ahead.”
Appel also objects to politicians who’ve left congress for a job as a D.C. lobbyist, but collect their congressional pension while they’re being paid to lobby congress.
“I think it’s called double-dipping,” Appel says. “It’s one of those things you shouldn’t do with chips and dip and you definitely shouldn’t do it with our taxpayer money.”
Appel would also vote to expand the waiting period before congressional staff can work for a lobbying firm. The “cooling off period” is now one-year. Appel says it should be two years. Appel outlined her ideas today during a speech in Des Moines and she challenged her Republican opponent, David Young, to agree to take the same anti-perk positions.
A spokesman for the National Republican Congressional Committee issued a written statement this afternoon.
“Staci Appel was voted out of office because she supported wasteful spending during her term in the Iowa Senate, including $80,000 to fix a pipe organ and more taxpayer dollars to pay for decorative flower pots,” NRCC spokesman Tyler Q. Houlton said.
Appel served one term in the state senate.
(This post was updated at 3:58 p.m. with additional information.)