Smiley pushes term limits, town halls, penalizing congressional salaries, in Washington State Senate showdown

By | September 12, 2022

FIRST ON FOX: Enacting term limits for members of Congress and revoking congressional salaries if federal lawmakers fail to pass a budget are among the policy proposals being unveiled by Washington State GOP Senate nominee Tiffany Smiley.

Smiley, the military wife, nurse, veterans rights advocate and first-time Republican candidate trying to defeat longtime Democratic Sen. Patty Murray, on Monday released her “Agenda for Political Recovery and Reform,” which was shared first with Fox News Digital.

The agenda focuses on holding politicians accountable and what Smiley’s campaign says is “giving hope to voters who have lost confidence in the government’s ability to enact positive change in their lives.” Additionally, one of Smiley’s pledges is to hold 10 town hall meetings per year “to be as accessible to as many Washington State voters as possible.”

“Voters have lost trust in politicians and have lost confidence in government,” Smiley emphasized.

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“And they have good reason to. Career politicians are always in it for themselves, government always throws up roadblocks to the people it serves, and party politics always gets in the way of what’s best for our country. Enough is enough,” Smiley argued, as she indirectly took aim at Murray, who has served three decades in the Senate. 

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Smiley, who in June signed a pledge for an amendment to term limit Congress, highlighted that “if a politician was elected before someone was born, they should not be on the ballot when that voter reaches voting age.”

In highlighting her pledge to revoke the annual salary for members of Congress if they fail to pass a budget for that year, Smiley stressed that “if every family at a kitchen table has to live within their means, so should government.”

Besides her pledge to hold 10 town hall meetings per year, Smiley’s proposals also include banning taxpayer funds “from ever going to political campaigns,” vowing to oppose what she calls “the federalization of elections,” and supporting the push by some states to implement voter ID and mail ballot signature verification laws.

The new agenda from Smiley is the fourth in a series of policy rollouts.

“Recovering trust and confidence in government means reforming the way politicians behave and finding ways to hold them to account,” Smiley highlighted. “This agenda ensures that hope is on the horizon for all voters who just want their representatives to be honest and find solutions to our problems.”

TIFFANY SMILEY LANDS ANOTHER BIG REPUBLICAN ENDORSEMENT

Smiley grabbed national attention after her Army officer husband was permanently blinded during an attack in Iraq more than a decade and a half ago. She told Fox News last year that her efforts on behalf of her husband “opened my eyes to the failure of the federal government to protect and support our men and women in uniform.”

Her push for reforms landed her on national TV and helped to push the Trump administration and Congress to pass reforms at the Department of Veterans Affairs. Former President Trump signed a bill into law in 2017 that gave leadership at the VA more power to fire failed employees and protect those who uncover agency wrongdoing.

Murray, who was first elected to the Senate in 1992 as the self-described “mom tennis shoes,” has won all of but one of her re-elections by double digits in blue Washington State. 

While Murray enjoys a large fundraising advantage over Smiley, an average of the most recent public opinion polls in the state indicates Murray up by the high single-digits, giving Republicans hope they might be able to flip the longtime blue held seat red. It has been 28 years since a Republican won a Senate election in Washington State.

The Senate is currently split 50/50 between the two major parties, but the Democrats control the chamber thanks to the Vice President Kamala Harris’ constitutional role as president of the Senate. Republicans need a net gain of just one seat in November’s midterms to regain the majority they lost when Democrats swept in Georgia’s January 2021 twin Senate runoff elections.