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

Copyright © 2013 by Lance Hunter Voorhees, All rights reserved.




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  • I have been screaming for a bill to do this.  No big bills  only bills that cover one subject and one subject only.  NO  PORK allowed ever.  This should be written in large print and never be changed.

  • Oren - They are children. Specifically, about age 12-18 when they are sure they know much more than you do! While it might be more difficult to determine if they actually read a bill (though some of the platitudes spewing out of their mouths confirm they know nothing), it is relatively easy to check to see if they are voting with their constituencies.  When Obamacare passed, nearly 70% of the country did not want it.  Is this not criminal? Does this not demonstrate they have no intention of following the wishes of their constituents, and are therefore in violation of their oaths of office? I voted for representatives in a republic, not elites to establish an oligarchy.



  • Andy Morris- did you note that the so-called " Farm Bill"" was nearly 80% food stamps and nutrition?  It's truly "1984" even in the naming of these bills.  Deceptive from the get-go.  Hence The Affordable Care Act-- AKA, " millions will lose or pay vastly more for their insurance act."  The Congressional Gotcha!.

  • .

    After reading some of the comments another thought hit me.  Why not have a 36 or 48 hour buyers remorse clause in all bills.  You get that option in many states when you purchase a large item with a life of 10-20 years, Why not have this option when the bill being considered will last your lifetime.  Let the congressman/woman vote on a bill and then go back to the office and get her constituents reactions to his/her vote on a bill.  I'll bet we would get many fewer bills passed in congress and as far as I am concerned the few the bills the smaller the government and that's GOOD.


  • Voorhees hits it on the head, the same solution that I have proposed for years.  As was said about Obamacare, "What good is it if I have read it and can't understand it and it takes several lawyers [some time to] understand it?? "- this from a longtime Congressman- nearly all legislation is passed "blind", unintended consequences unassessed.   Just three days ago a Congressman (also a lawyer) said the same- he couldn't understand what the bill said- too much"legalese" - on an immigration bill HE CO- SPONSORED!!!  The only thing legislators know is which contributors want the bill passed, and the type and amount of pork they will be getting.  The Founders intended for the Public to have access to the bills and read them themselves, then lobby their representatives to do their will. This corrupted, immoral process completely precludes this. The bill should be (1) one subject, stand alone, (2) no pork, (4) limited length, and (4) placed on-line for a minimum two weeks to allow discussion. Those who vote on a bill they have not read are criminally negligent and need to be prosecuted for the same.

  • .
    I think the simple bill amendment is long overdue, however there are at least three things I would like to see in the amendment. First, exclude all pork. . . . The bill should address only one subject and related factors . . . . for instance a health bill could only address direct health subjects like regulating doctors or medicine or hospitals . . . . It could not contain pork like a bridge to nowhere or like the farm bill carrying the mail for food stamps.  Second I think 10000 words is much too long If the constitution is only 5000 words why should ANY bill be longer? Third the bill should be written in plain english so that the legal beagles and shysters can not warp the meaning to whatever they desire. There is only one meaning of the word is. It should not take the supreme court to determine   what the DOMA means..
  • I'd like to know what kind of pork is in a bill before or after it is passed. We got a sample of that in the Sandy Relief bill which grew in size to 80 billion, when the insurance companies figured the cost at 20 billion. yet no one is bothering to tell us what that pork was. The immigration bill is no different it is full of vote buying by democrats and republicans. Any time a politician says " We need to pass this Bill quickly!" it means slow down and let's see what in it.

  • No more vote buying from slipping pork bills in it. LIKE THE IMMIGRATION BILL!!

  • The Simple Bill terminates mega-bills and would push even more stuff into regulations writen by unelected bureaucrats working with lobbyists.

    Term limits throw out the good guys as fast as they do the bums and they force everyone to scramble for his next (outside the Congress) job rather than working on what citizens pay them for. Check out California's situation (where they have them) before you endorse term limits.

    A balanced budget amendment would have to have escape hatches for emergencies. Why would we think Congress wouldn't find ANY vote-buying overspending to be an emergency?

    There is no way to make new rules that will cover for the fact that we elect t**ds to Congress. Educating our fellow citizens so we can elect better people is the only solution to these problems.
  • All should be posted online so those of us who care can read them. Also they should be written in English. None of this "Please refer to section 8, P3 for info" None of this passing bills in a week. Set a time limit so this stuff does not get rushed through for fear the American citizen will not find out what is in it.

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