Thursday, July 2, 2009

Dangerous lawmakers

Twice now in the past few months Congress has voted on bills that many members have not read. The Stimulus Bill was over a thousand pages and members were given barely 24 hours to read it. The "Cap and Trade" Bill was 1000 pages, and 300 pages were added at the last minute. Our President insists that these bills are so urgently needed that Congress must act quickly. But what happens to people who sign papers they haven't read? Answer: whatever the writer of the paper wrote would happen. If an individual signs a contract without reading it, he's stupid and deserves whatever he gets. But when a member of Congress votes yea on a bill he hasn't read, he's voting to bind the nation to whatever reckless provisions are written into the bill. This ought to be grounds for the voters who elected him to recall him, and possibly grounds for criminal prosecution.

To prevent mischief, the following ought to be added to Congress' rules for processing bills.
  1. For bills longer than a specified number of pages, x days must be allowed for every y pages to give members an opportunity to read the bill
  2. The bill shall have a table of contents and an index
  3. The bill shall address only a single subject
  4. The bill must be readable by a sixth grader of average intelligence
  5. Any member caught voting on a bill he has not read will be suspended

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