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The Weekly Fix: Rules for Thee, but Not for Me

The fix is in. Did you know, members of Congress can exclude themselves from federal laws they don’t want to follow? Taxpayers are forced to play by the rules, while lawmakers in Washington get a free pass.

The Congressional Accountability Act (CAA) of 1995 was created to remedy some of these injustices. In theory, the CAA requires members of Congress to abide by some of the same employment and workplace safety laws as any other business or federal government entity.

But in reality, members of Congress continue to dodge their way around significant legislative policy.

Congress has the power to kick you off your health care plan, yet lawmakers excused themselves from the ObamaCare exchanges. Congress requires federal agencies to provide citizens with internal records, yet lawmakers exempted themselves from the Freedom of Information Act, along with numerous other record-keeping and transparency laws (including whistleblower protections).

Congress supports sending citizens to jail for insider trading, yet lawmakers are allowed to make stock trades based on non-public information. Congress passed the Sarbanes-Oxley Act to protect citizens from dishonest private sector CEOs, yet lawmakers shamelessly lie about the costs of their policy agenda.

Not surprisingly, the Office of Compliance for the U.S. Congress revealed to the press that representatives often fail to produce records and information critical to investigations in a timely manner- or sometimes even at all. Compliance has no legal authority to subpoena information, leaving them at the complete mercy of legislative offices.

Why are members of Congress so tone deaf? Because they aren’t living in the same reality as the rest of America. They are shielded from the consequences of their actions. Forget equal treatment under the law, the official slogan of the Legislative Branch should be: Rules for thee, but not for me.

The American people aren’t being heard by government because the game is rigged. Washington isn’t broken. It’s “fixed.”