Our quest for transparency in Congress continues.
In the last 4 years, Congress (Republicans and Democrats alike) has passed 12,500 pages worth of laws.
I know, because I copied every single one of them on my computer, printed and then bound them together. You see a picture of them here. This doesn’t include the proclamations, renaming of facilities and other things of this nature that Congress passed.
It also doesn’t include the 500 – 2000 pages worth of laws that Congress will undoubtedly pass before the year is out.
Practically speaking, these laws are passed in secret, and there is no wonder why they do it that way.
For example, On June 29th, H.R. 6064 was introduced into the House. It was sent to 8 different committees, passed by the House, passed by the senate, signed by the President and became law – ALL in one single day!
Also, on June 29th, a several hundred page bill (H.R. 4348) came up for a vote. Roughly two hours before the vote, about two hundred pages were added to this bill, making it almost 1100 pages long. Members of Congress were scurrying around in the halls inserting their last minute, special interest clauses and loopholes. No one had any concrete idea what was being inserted. The bill came up for a vote, was passed by both houses and became law.
These are just two examples of extreme recklessness on the part of our fools on the hill. Unfortunately, this type of behavior happens every day they are in session.
Their next act of disreputable conduct will be the bills they pass to “avert” the fiscal crisis (all they will do is prolong it). Instead of honestly working and actually solving this problem like they should have 2, 3 or 8 years ago, they will pass a series of bills or a bundled bill hundreds of pages long at the eleventh hour in the dark of night.
Our country is in trouble - our great recession, our very slow recovery, third world countries providing a better education to their citizens than we do for ours, our “fiscal crisis”, (to name a few), all link back to Congress.
It is not like we all woke up on the same morning several years ago and decided to work half as hard and be twice as lazy. That didn’t happen. What happened? Congress is what happened. They passed the laws that caused our problems.
When Congress is permitted to bundle bills the way Wall Street bundles securities, and are allowed to add hundreds of pages to bills minutes before a vote, corruption, poorly thought out laws, loopholes, pork, special interest clauses and problems are the inevitable result.
Congress cannot and should not be trusted. Instead of receiving all of their advice from the tens of thousands of special interests, the manipulative, and the self-serving, they need to start hearing from us. But this is not possible with our current legislative process. Thus, the political process must be changed. We have to level the playing field.
WE MUST TELL CONGRESS:
NO MORE adding hundreds of pages to a bill and passing it hours later.
NO MORE bundling bills the way investment firms bundle securities – one subject per bill.
They must pass a law to this effect.
THE SOLUTION IS SIMPLE:
The American people should have at least 30 days to review the absolute final versions of any bill or allocation of funds before the vote. We need to have enough time to get informed, intelligently respond and protect ourselves from self-serving interests and poorly thought out laws.
Full transparency BEFORE the vote is a must for ANY representative government. Citizens must have the opportunity to see whose fingers are in the pie well before the vote, not after the damage has already been done.
This is why you will see us passing out flyers and getting petition signatures at various locations around the country. We do it because we are sick and tired of Congress passing laws behind closed doors. We know that rampant corruption is par for the course so long as we allow Congress to bundle bills and pass laws without showing the final versions of them to us long before the vote.
We know that without the right to see these bills before the vote, pork, loopholes, special interest clauses, poorly thought out laws and a declining economy will always be the result, and our country will continue to be run by the rich, the powerful and the selfish, rather than the American people.