Rep. Johnson Pushes Bill Taking Up Perry's Part-Time Congress Proposal

Texas Gov. Rick Perry's part-time Congress proposal has become the blueprint for a bill Rep. Timothy Johnson, an Illinois Republican, will introduce next week.

The Citizen Legislators Act would limit the days Congress works to five per month, or 60 business days per session.

It also would cut the salaries of representatives and senators in half. But like Perry's plan, Johnson's bill allows members to have jobs outside of Congress. The caveat is that their income cannot be earned as "a result of the privilege of their office, such as speaking tours, lobbying and consulting."

Like Perry, Johnson says he was motivated by "mounting anger over Washington spending and gridlock." He claims his bill could save up to $2 billion a year.

“The Citizen Legislator Act may not be a perfect instrument in the eyes of Washington insiders, but it is a beginning step in righting the ship,” Rep. Johnson said.

Johnson's office says the idea came from Perry's Uproot and Overhaul Washington plan.

The congressman's staff members talked with Perry's policy advisors while drafting the bill and called Perry's campaign Thursday morning to notify them of the press release about their bill.

Perry says he supports the bill. "I believe members of Congress should spend less time in Washington and more time living at home under the laws they pass with the people they represent," Perry said in a written statement.

Both use similar language about Americans being tired of "out-of-touch politicians," who spend time working on unneeded government projects.

Rep. Johnson has not endorsed any Republican presidential candidate, but his office was clear he does "endorse" Perry's idea of a scaled-back Congress.