WASHINGTON (TIP): Amidst widespread frustration surrounding the US shutdown and reckless brinkmanship over the debt limit, an Indian-American leader, seeking his maiden Congressional bid, has introduced a vision of bold government reform agenda. One of the top fund raiser, Rohit Ro Khanna, a former top Obama Administration official unveiled October 17 a five step plan to change the Congress. The proposal includes refusal to donations from political action committees (PACs) and federally registered lobbyists, refusal to Congressional pay raises, end of Congressional pension system, banning legislators from lobbying for five years after leaving office and Members of Congress from taking special interest-funded trips. “These proposals will help turn our Members of Congress back into the representatives of the people that they’re supposed to be,” Khanna said.
“It will make them more like the voters who send them to office, who have to worry about supporting their families on paychecks that haven’t grown in years. “It will make them think twice about cutting Social Security benefits and blocking health coverage that millions of Americans rely on. It will make them more like you and me,” he said. He said America’s founders invented a government flexible enough that more and more Americans have become full shareholders in it. “Women, African Americans, Latino Americans, and Asian Americans have all obtained the right to vote, and a greater voice in our society. We’re making progress on LGBTQ, too, although we’ve still got a ways to go,” he said. “It’s because of this sometimes unsteady progress toward fairness and equality and freedom and citizenship that our country remains a model for the world. It inspired my grandfather, who joined Mahatma Gandhi’s movement for freedom and democracy in India and spent four years in jail for his activities,” he said. Khanna was addressing a gathering in California from where he is seeking to get elected to the House of Representatives from the Democratic Party. He is pitted against his own party colleague and incumbent Mike Honda and has raised more funds as compared to his rival. Khanna pledged to abide by all the five proposals if elected to the Congress. He said he has refused to accept donations from PACs, special interests, and Washington lobbyists.