Perry pushes part-time Congress proposal

"I think having a part-time Congress with half the staff, half the pay and let them spend half the time in Washington, D.C., than they've been spending, and I've got to figure America is going to be twice a good off, at least," said Perry on Fox News Channel's "Hannity" Wednesday.

He defended his proposal, saying many state legislatures, including Texas's, are able to accomplish their goals with a part-time schedule.

"This is something that Americans have been I think dreaming about, is having Washington be as inconsequential in their lives as ... can be," Perry added.

Perry announced his proposal in a speech Tuesday in Iowa, where he called for reducing the size of the federal government, including instituting a part-time Congress and an end to lifetime appointments of federal judges.

Under his plan, members of Congress could hold outside employment, since they would not work for the government full-time.

"Congress is out of touch because congressmen are overpaid, they're overstaffed and they're away from home way too much," said Perry at his speech in Bettendorf, Iowa.

Perry challenged House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) on Wednesday to debate him next week about his plan for a part-time Congress. In a letter to Pelosi obtained by The Hill, the Texas governor wrote: "I am in Washington Monday and would love to engage you in a public debate about my Overhaul Washington plan versus the congressional status quo."

For more on Perry's challenge to the minority leader, click here.