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Q & A with Congressman Rod Blum
by Rod Blum · September 28th, 2017

Q. Do Members of Congress really receive their full salary as a pension after serving only one term? Judy from Cedar Rapids on Facebook

A. The Congressional pension plan is one I have long regarded as a "Cadillac" plan and one that needs to end. Toward that end, I was an original cosponsor of H.R. 322, the EPIC (End Pensions in Congress) Act, a bill that if passed would put an end to the pension plan. With pension programs in the private sector declining, I see no reason whatsoever why taxpayers should continue to pay for the pension of Federal lawmakers after they have retired. 

To your original question, and contrary to what has been stated in various chain e-mails, members of Congress do not receive their full salary after a single term in office. By law, it cannot exceed more than 80 percent of a member's final salary, and under the current formula, it would take many decades of being in Congress to reach that amount. 

Regardless of the amount, with families struggling to make ends meet, it does not make sense to me why those families should have money taken out of their paycheck to go toward the retirement funds for members of Congress that make $174,000 a year.

Q. I saw that you did not have any public town halls in the August Recess; how did you hear from constituents about their concerns? Tom from Cedar Falls via Email

A. A few months ago we held some of the biggest townhalls Iowa has ever seen. Over 4,000 constituents attended evening townhalls over four days in the four largest cities in the first district. I listened very respectfully to all of the questions and comments. I also tried to answer each question but was typically shouted down. The impact was that most attendees could not hear my answers. After the events were finished, I heard from many constituents that the town halls were not a productive use of time for anyone involved. Unfortunately, organized political groups disrupted the events, and we were not able to have a productive dialogue amongst all the shouting. 

Dating back to my first month in office, I have made it a priority to travel the district extensively and meet with Iowans of every walk of life and background. Whether it is visiting charities, hospitals, touring small businesses, riding along with fire and police departments, or meeting with advocacy groups I value each and every one of the conversations I have with my constituents. I also enjoy working alongside my constituents: I have delivered mail and UPS packages, cooked and waited tables in a diner, waited on customers as a teller in financial institutions and delivered Meals on Wheels, to name a few. 

I have also put tens of thousands of miles on our family vehicle traveling the district and have met thousands of eastern Iowans. That's one of the parts of the job I enjoy the most. Please follow us on Twitter and Facebook - we post most of our travels throughout the district on those social media sites. Our Twitter handle is @RepRodBlum and our Facebook page is @CongressmanRodBlum.

All the best,

Rod Blum

The third and final question and answer with Congressman Blum will be published in the October 5, 2017, Marion Times.

To submit a question, write to Congressman Rod Blum at, on Twitter @RepRodBlum, or on Facebook at
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