James Leroy Wilson's blog

Tuesday, June 09, 2009

They think reading the bills is a joke

http://www.downsizedc.org/blog/they-think-reading-the-bills-is-a-joke

Quote of the Day: "I have come to the conclusion that one useless man is called a disgrace. That two become a law firm; and that three or more become a congress!" -- John Adams in "1776" by Sherman Edwards & Peter Stone

Subject: They think reading the bills is a joke

Henry Waxman hired a speed-reader in case Republicans demanded that the cap & trade bill be read to the members of the House Energy and Commerce Committee. The Republicans decided not to deploy this "stalling" tactic, so the reader was used only for a couple of minutes, as a joke.

Not only are bills never read before a quorum in Congress, they aren't read in committee either. Our supposed representatives think it's a joke to believe they should know what they're inflicting on us. But we don't think it's funny...

* The cap & trade bill, H.R. 2454, will remake the entire U.S. economy
* The bill is an astounding 932 pages long

But the politicians don't think it's worth reading. In fact, Chairman Waxman introduced the bill on May 15th with the intention moving it out of committee in just one week! It took longer than that, but most of the committee's time was spent defeating Republican amendments - which were also unread.

This bill is so large and convoluted that the normally-reliable Library of Congress still hasn't been able to post a summary of it on their legislative website. It's been three weeks since the bill was introduced and apparently no one understands it well enough to summarize it.

Without DownsizeDC.org's Read the Bills Act (RTBA), Congress has every incentive to make bills as long and convoluted as possible. This allows them to combine reasonable-sounding proposals with special-interest favors. And then, when the bill doesn't work as intended, their solution is always to pass yet another long, convoluted bill.

But under RTBA...

* Congress will have an incentive to make bills as short and clear as possible
* Fewer bills will get passed, meaning government won't grow at such a cancerous rate
* The final version of every bill will be posted on the Internet for at least seven days before a vote, giving the public and the media a chance to read and comment

Tell Congress to pass DownsizeDC.org's Read the Bills Act.

Use your personal comments to tell your Congressional employees that...

* You object to long, convoluted bills like H.R. 2454.
* You're offended by the House Energy & Commerce Committee's speed reading joke
* You'll hold them accountable if they vote for this bill without reading it

To exceed the 36,512 messages we sent last month we need to send at least 1,645 messages today. You can do so using our quick and easy Educate the Powerful System.

We also invite you to add your website or blog to the Read the Bills Act Coalition. It's an effortless way to promote RTBA. In return we'll link to your site on our home page and mention it in a Downsizer-Dispatch reaching more than 25,500 subscribers. You can learn how to join the coalition here.

Today, we welcome one new member to the Coalition:

* North Bay Patriots

Thank you for being a part of the growing Downsize DC Army.

James Wilson
Assistant to the President
DownsizeDC.org

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