Pennsylvania State Rep. Angel Cruz’s proposal is an amendment to a proposed bill that would require welfare recipients to take drug tests before receiving benefits. Cruz said he will support that bill if lawmakers agree to get drug-tested, too.
Cruz, a Democrat representing Philadelphia, has proposed similar legislation three times before and said he will continue to do so if other lawmakers insist on drug-testing their constituents.
“If we are going to say that recipients of taxpayer money should be drug tested, then that should extend to us as well,” he said in a statement.
“The lawmakers are the lawmakers, and we’re not above the law,” Cruz told WGAL-TV. “If it’s good for one, it’s good for all.”
He told Philadelphia magazine that he got the idea from Puerto Rico, which does random drug-testing on its lawmakers.
“They do this at the call of the speaker and the call of the senate president at random,” Cruz said. “He’ll walk in and say, ‘We’re doing drug testing today.’ It puts the fear of God in everybody.”
Lawmakers in other states have floated the idea of drug-testing their colleagues.
Last month, Rep. Clay Higgins, R-La., introduced legislation that would require Senators and Congress representatives to submit to random drug tests once every term.
“Elected officials in Washington D.C. should be subject to the same kind of random drug screenings that blue-collar, working-class Americans have to endure,” Higgins said in a statement. “Congress shouldn’t get to live by a different set of rules. This effort is about maintaining accountability and ensuring sober service to We, the People.”
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