‘Blago Amendment' stopping pensions for the corrupt passes U.S. House
February 10, 2012
It’s informally known as the “Blago Amendment.”
Illinois lawmakers including U.S. Sen. Mark Kirk and U.S. Reps. Mike Quigley, Bob Dold and Dan Lipinski got a provision into the anti-corruption legislation that passed the House of Representatives 417-2 Thursday that blocks former congressmen convicted of corruption from collecting their congressional pensions.
Even after he gets out of federal prison 12 or 14 years from now, former Gov. Rod Blagojevich will be able to collect the pension he qualified for by serving a few unremarkable terms in Congress. His conviction for crimes committed while governor means he loses that pension, but not his congressional pension.
The provision approved by the House Thursday, if ratified by the U.S. Senate and signed by President Barack Obama, will apply only to future Blagojeviches. The provision was part of the Stop Trading On Congressional Knowledge or “STOCK Act” which prohibits members of Congress from trying to enrich themselves by making stock trades based on their familiarity with pending government action.
“Corrupt former legislators who continue collecting pensions on the taxpayer dime are taking advantage of the American people even after they’ve left office,” said Quigley, who represents Blagojevich’s old district.
Blagojevich is eligible for about $15,000 a year when he retires.
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