An Issue on the Back Burner

Forcing government to represent the will of the people will indeed be our first and number one priority, but second unto it is another important issue that correlates to it and needs to be on the back burner so pressure is ever applied.

It is increasingly infuriating for the majority that bills are being quickly passed through Congress before anyone, including representatives themselves, have a chance to read or comprehend them. Now, this has happened to a degree many times in the past, but this problem has been exacerbated, particularly with the Obama’s Health Care Form Bill which consists of thousands of pages no one seems to have read or understands. Now we have bills, the length often exceeding a thousand pages, being pushed through so quickly as to give the impression that someone does not even want us to know what is in the legislation.

Congressman John Conyers illustrated with his words what many suspect is the common attitude:

I love these members, they get up and say, “Read the bill.” What good is reading the bill if it’s a thousand pages and you don’t have two days and two lawyers to find out what it means after you read the bill?5

This needs to change. If a politician is to represent the people, he must read the bills upon which he is to vote; and such bills must be made available to the people with ample time provided to receive feedback from those who are supposed to be represented.

After all, does not Congress impose a waiting period on the people before they purchase a gun? Bad legislation can destroy many more lives than any gun. The people must do to them what they have done to us and impose a waiting period before a bill can become law.

Congress must therefore be forced to pass legislation containing the essence of the following.

Before Congress will be allowed to vote on any bill that directly affects U.S. citizens financially or legally, the following must first take place:

(A) From the time of the first complete draft of new legislation to the time of the vote, a period of 14 days must pass to allow time to study and discuss the bill. Any revision of said bill will require at least a week for consideration before another vote is taken.

(B) The first day of the time periods begins when the full contents of the bill or revision are posted on the Internet for all citizens to study.

(C) The only exception to this time period would involve matters of national security, where an action must be quickly accomplished to insure the defense of this nation or legislative moves that do not directly effect the lives of U.S. citizens.

(D) No single bill will be over 100 pages long, or 30,000 words. If more wording than this is required, then they will be treated as two or more separate bills presented at two or more separate times.

(E) Earmarks are to be completely eliminated and are to be treated as separate pieces of legislation requiring a separate vote.

(F) No single bill can contain two distinctly different pieces of legislation.

A trick played by politicians is they will take a popular bill sure to pass (such as essential funding for the troops) and tag on to it legislation for some cause they want which may be unpopular with the people (such as a tax increase).

Such a deception is infuriating to the majority and must be stopped.

That’s it; both pieces are short and simple like Proposition 13. In short this proposition will force Congress to vote on one thing at a time and to have a basic understanding of that upon which they vote.  The time of consideration given to the people will also give them time to make their will known to their representatives.

Our Congressmen must actually study the bills so they are familiar with their contents. Unfortunately, it is probably not possible to legally force them to do this. This is where the citizens must take charge and hold them accountable. We, the people must demand two things of them:

(1) We must demand they read the legislation and become familiar with its contents. If they do not do this, then they will lose our vote at the next election.

(2) They must listen to their constituents who have read the bill and vote according to the wishes of an obvious majority. If they do not, then their constituents will not vote for them in the next election.

Next: Plan of Attack