Senator Mark Kirk announced legislation Monday designed to strip members of Congress of their pensions for any public misdeeds.
"Currently the law holds that members would only forfeit their pensions for acts while they were in Congress," Kirk said, speaking just six floors below the spot where jurors are deliberating the fate of former Illinois governor Rod Blagojevich. "Our law also expands this, to say you would lose your pension if you were convicted of a felony as any public official."
The law, if enacted, would not effect Blagojevich, who left the Congress in 2003.
"We estimate Governor Blaogojevich would be eligible, because of his six years of service in the Congress, to a $15,000 taxpayer funded pension," Kirk said. "Our law would not cancel his pension because he's already vested. But we think that no future member of Congress, convicted of a public integrity crime, should have that publicly funded pension."
The Senator's co-sponsor on the legislation in the House, is freshman Illinois Republican Robert Dold.
"I've always believed that your integrity determines your identity,"Dold said. "What we have is a violation of public trust. And for those who violate the public trust, they should not be rewarded."