At last, House leaders have decided to identify current and former lawmakers who have written bad checks at the House bank. Voters finally can see how responsible—or not—their elected officials really are.
However, legislators shouldn’t be patting themselves on the back for a “bold move” because the whole issue removes what little public trust people still have for elected officials.
Democratic leaders originally wanted to name only the 24 worst offenders, but changed their minds after Republicans rightly demanded a vote on the issue.
After the announcement was made, leaders from both parties began spewing out opinions why they have overdrawn their accounts. Rep. Charles Hatcher, D_Ga., said he overdrew his account as many as 780 times over 39 months. His explanation was that he believed he was permitted to overdraw his account by the amount of his next paycheck.
Rep. Duncan Hunter, R_Calif., admitted he wrote about 160 bad checks during the past three years. However, he said he was in “moral balance on the issue” because he had set up and contributed to a monthly scholarship fund in his home district while he was writing the bad checks.
Try to tell your bank the same thing. Americans should be outraged not only by this disregard of the system but by the unbelievable explanations.
Those voters who actually care about the issues and know about what’s happening in the news now have a chance to know whether their representatives have been overdrawing their accounts.
Many House members might still be reelected, but now at least they will think twice before signing their next checks.