It's all about the money, a mantra expressed all too many times in BRT, certainly applies to congress where the name of the game is to get re elected no matter what the cost may be regarding governance, personal integrity or trying to actually represent the public who vote these people into office.
In the days after my first election to Congress, in 2000, I attended several orientation sessions in Washington, eager to absorb the lessons of history. I wanted to learn what Congressman Abraham Lincoln had learned, to hear the wisdom of predecessors like John Quincy Adams, Daniel Webster and Joseph Gurney Cannon. The romance was crushed by lesson No. 1: Get re-elected. A fund-raising consultant advised that if I didn’t raise at least $10,000 a week (in pre-Citizens United dollars), I wouldn’t be back. - Steve Israel (D) NY
Israel's retiring after the end of this term.
When reading this article, Jonathan Swift's A Modest Proposal comes to mind, not in dietary terms but in political including:
1. Term Limits: Two terms for senate, Three terms for house.
2. Public financing of campaigns. Eliminate Citizens United
3. When a person leaves office, benefits cease
4. Congress members pay for their health benefits
5. Congress members must obey the laws they pass.
6. Congress cannot vote themselves a raise. Raises only apply when keyed to inflation.
7. Eliminate gerrymandering
8. Ability to create referendums on policies that affect all Americans. i.e. Declaration of war etc., etc.
9. Limit time of campaigning. In Britain, it's 6 weeks.
This is just a partial list but at least it's a start. :)