The “Blago Amendment,” which blocks former congressmen convicted of corruption from collecting congressional pensions, sailed through the House of Representatives Thursday on a 417-2 vote as part of anti-corruption legislation, reports the Chicago Sun-Times. Illinois lawmakers including U.S. Sen. Mark Kirk and U.S. Reps. Mike Quigley, Bob Dold and Dan Lipinski got the provision added to the bill.
Even after he gets out of federal prison a dozen years from now, former Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich will be able to collect about $15,000 a year from the pension he qualified for by serving a few terms in Congress. His conviction for crimes committed while governor means he loses that pension, but not his congressional pension. The provision, if ratified by the U.S. Senate and signed by President Barack Obama, will apply only to future members of Congress. It was added to the Stop Trading On Congressional Knowledge, or “STOCK Act,” which prohibits members of Congress from trying to enrich themselves by making stock trades based on their familiarity with pending government action.