FROM THE BUFFALO GAP ROUND UP: www.BuffaloGapNews.com
Many members of Congress are having scandalous love affairs with deceitful, bloated and infectious legislation called mega-bills. Mega-bills are wrapped in hundreds of pages of legalese to make them look pretty, but underneath are pregnant with fees, fines and regulations. The Simple Bill Amendment would prevent excessively large bills from coming to term by amending the Constitution to limit the length of federal legislation.
The Simple Bill Amendment
"Congress shall make no law in excess of 10,000 words without two thirds approval of both Houses of Congress, and no bill of any length shall be voted for by any member of Congress without that member first reading the bill in full."
The Simple Bill Amendment would limit the wording of most bills to about twice the size of the U.S. Constitution. The Constitution's 4,543 words take about thirty minutes to read, therefore a larger bill under this amendment would take about an hour. In comparison, a legislator could read the Constitution 92 times before finishing the 418,779 words of Obamacare, not including the 20,000 pages of regulations it gave birth to.
Had this amendment already been in place, Obama's Affordable Care Act would never have been invited to the dance floor. At 906 pages, Obamacare would have simply been too obese to wiggle under the limbo stick at the congressional conga line. The same would be true of the Patriot Act's 132 pages, which due to its complicated language is being reinterpreted to allow spying on Americans who aren't even suspected of having committed a crime.
For bills that don't want to go on a 10,000 word diet, there is always the option of getting two thirds of the House and Senate to support it. Nevertheless, the amendment's requirement that legislators take the time to read a bill before voting for it would still stand ‒ a legislator shouldn't rely on the explanations of lobbyists or staffers as to why she should vote for it.
Members of Congress who vote against a bill are not required to read it in full. By skimming, legislators can often ascertain if too much pork or excessive regulation is in a bill. In such cases, a lawmaker could determine if attempting to amend such a bill would be an exercise in futility before running it through the shredder.
Requests to sponsor the Simple Bill Amendment are on the desks of two Republicans from Texas, Senator Ted Cruz and Congressman Randy Neugebauer. If the amendment survives the ratification process, the time and expense it takes to move bills through Congress should be reduced along with the swollen bags under the eyes of legislators who bother to read the 8000 plus bills introduced into Congress each year.
With bills being limited in size debate should be streamlined, allowing more play time for Democrats and Republicans to golf and eat dinner with lobbyists, which should be reason enough to garner bipartisan support.
The Simple Bill Amendment is designed to help you sort out what your representatives are up to. Shorter bills would help voters to quickly spot flaws and allow them time to sway lawmakers before a bill goes to the floor for a vote. It is time for left-wing and right-wing lawmakers alike to end their infatuation with lengthy and unnecessarily complicated mega-bills.
If you think former Speaker Nancy Pelosi was in a fog when she said legislators should pass a bill “so that you can find out what is in it,” then email or call your legislators today, encouraging them to contact Ted Cruz and Randy Neugebauer to support and co-sponsor the Simple Bill Amendment.
Lance Hunter Voorhees is a Yahoo! News contributor, actor and former radio talk show host living in Abilene, TX. You can reach him at Lance@LanceVoorhees.com.
Copyright © 2013 by Lance Hunter Voorhees, All rights reserved.