DownsizeDC.org
August 2, 2007
A Committee Reads the Bill
By James Wilson

Today's Downsizer-Dispatch . . .
Last week, the Senate passed ten bills amounting to 1126 pages of legislation. But that was child's play compared to the House, which managed an astonishing 32 bills or 1460 pages of legislation. This included authorization bills to continue funding for the Departments Justice, Commerce, Transportation, and Housing and Urban Development. You would think Congress would take at least a couple of days, if not weeks, looking at each department. Instead, these lengthy bills were rushed through along with dozens of others. A full list of the bills Congress passed is available at the end of this Dispatch, below my signature.

There was one refreshing development. On Thursday, ranking minority member Rep. McCrery of Louisiana forced the House Ways and Means committee to do something it rarely does: read the 481-page bill they were considering. That's right - not even Congressional committees bother to read bills drawn up by committee staffers and/or Administration bureaucrats. Otherwise, Congressional Quarterly wouldn't have found it newsworthy. See the story here.

Rep. McCrery's move may have been a stunt, a stalling tactic because he was upset with the Democrat majority in the committee. But we applaud Mccrery's move, and encourage other members of Congress to pull this "stunt" in their own committees. It will guarantee that at least some members of Congress will have actually taken the time to read the bills they pass.

But, of course, it's not nearly enough. What we really need is the Read the Bills Act to force all members of Congress to read all the bills they pass. You can learn more about the Read the Bills Act here.

And you can tell Congress to pass the Read the Bills Act here.

Want to do more? After you send your message, magnify your voice by telling your friends about the RTBA. And we invite you to join the Read the Bills Act Coalition. It's quick, its easy, and it will get your website a link from us! Join here.

We welcome yet another member of the Coalition:

Alex's Journal

Thank you for being a DC Downsizer

James Wilson
Assistant to the President
DownsizeDC.org, Inc.

The following are the bills the House and Senate passed last week. The bills were passed by voice vote except where indicated. The descriptions of bills are essentially verbatim from the Congressional Record Daily Digest. Page numbers of bills are based on the pdf display of the latest version from the Government Printing Office.

HOUSE

H.R. 1239 - National Underground Railroad Network to Freedom Reauthorization Act of 2007 - 3 pages

H.R. 1388 - Star-Spangled Banner National Historic Trail Act - 6 pages

H.R. 761 - To authorize the Secretary of Interior to convey to The Missouri River Basin Lewis and Clark Interpretive Trail and Visitor Center Foundation, Inc. certain Federal land associated with the Lewis and Clark National Historic Trail in Nebraska, to be used as an historical interpretive site along the trail - 4 pages

H.R. 1285 - Snoqualmie Pass Land Conveyance Act - 3 pages

H.R. 716 - Santa Rosa Urban Water Reuse Plan Act - 3 pages

H.R. 1503 - Avra/Black Wash Reclamation and Riparian Restoration Project - 3 pages

H.R. 1526 - Bay Area Regional Water Recycling Program Authorization Act of 2007 - 7 pages

H.R. 495 - Oregon Water Resources Management Act of 2007 - 11 pages

H.R. 2400 - Ocean and Coastal Mapping Integration - 15 pages

H.R. 50 - Multinational Species Conservation Funds Reauthorization Act of 2007 - 3 pages

H.R. 465 - Asian Elephant Conservation Reauthorization Act of 2007 - 2 pages

H.R. 2798 - Overseas Private Investment Corporation Reauthorization Act of 2007 - 36 pages

H.R. 1239 - National Underground Railroad Network to Freedom Reauthorization Act of 2007 - 3 pages

H.R. 1388 - Star-Spangled Banner National Historic Trail Act - 6 pages

H.R. 761 - To authorize the Secretary of Interior to convey to The Missouri River Basin Lewis and Clark Interpretive Trail and Visitor Center Foundation, Inc. certain Federal land associated with the Lewis and Clark National Historic Trail in Nebraska, to be used as an historical interpretive site along the trail - 4 pages

H.R. 1285 - Snoqualmie Pass Land Conveyance Act - 3 pages

H.R. 716 - Santa Rosa Urban Water Reuse Plan Act - 3 pages

H.R. 1503 - Avra/Black Wash Reclamation and Riparian Restoration Project - 3 pages

H.R. 1526 - Bay Area Regional Water Recycling Program Authorization Act of 2007 - 7 pages

H.R. 495 - Oregon Water Resources Management Act of 2007 - 11 pages

H.R. 2400 - Ocean and Coastal Mapping Integration - 15 pages

H.R. 50 - Multinational Species Conservation Funds Reauthorization Act of 2007 - 3 pages

H.R. 465 - Asian Elephant Conservation Reauthorization Act of 2007 - 2 pages

H.R. 2798 - Overseas Private Investment Corporation Reauthorization Act of 2007 - 36 pages

H.R. 3095 - To amend the Adam Walsh Child Protection and Safety Act of 2006 to modify a deadline relating to a certain election by Indian tribes - 4 pages

H.R. 404 - Federal Customer Service Enhancement Act (Passed 383-0)   - 6 pages

H.R. 3074 - Departments of Transportation, and Housing and Urban Development, and related agencies appropriations bill, 2008 (Passed 268-153)  - 130 pages

H.R. 2929- To limit the use of funds to establish any military installation or base for the purpose of providing for the permanent stationing of United States Armed Forces in Iraq or to exercise United States economic control of the oil resources of Iraq  (Passed 399-24)   - 5 pages

S. 1868 -Higher Education Act Extension Act of 2007  (Passed by voice vote) - 1 page

H.R. 3093- Departments of Commerce and Justice, and Science, and Related Agencies Appropriations, 2008  (Passed 281-142)   - 91 pages

H.R. 2419-Farm, Nutrition, and Bioenergy Act (Passed 231-191)  - 744 pages

H.R. 1-Implementing Recommendations of the 9/11 Commission Act-CONFERENCE REPORT  (Passed 371-40)  - 285 pages
 


SENATE

S. 1856 - to amend title 18, United States Code, to make technical corrections to the new border tunnels and passages offense. - 2 pages

S. 1642 - Higher Education Amendments Act (Passed 95-0) - 608 pages

H.J. Res. 44 - Burmese Freedom and Democracy Act Renewal Approval (passed 93-1) - 3 pages

S. 1868 - Second Higher Education Extension Act - 1 page

H.R. 2429 - Social Security Act Amendment: to amend title XVIII of the Social Security Act to provide an exception to the 60-day limit on Medicare reciprocal billing arrangements between two physicians during the period in which one of the physicians is ordered to active duty as a member of a reserve component of the Armed Forces - 1 page

H.R. 1538 - Wounded Warrior Assistance Act - 142 pages

S. 1716 - U.S. Troop Readiness, Veterans' Care, Katrina Recovery, and Iraq Accountability Appropriations Act - 4 pages

S. 1877 - Military Salute: Senate passed S. 1877, to prescribe that members of the Armed Forces and veterans out of uniform may render the military salute during hoisting, lowering, or passing of flag. - 2 pages

H.R. 2638 - Department Of Homeland Security Appropriations Act (Passed 89-4) - 78 pages

H.R. 1 - Implementing Recommendations of the 9/11 Commission Act-Conference Report (Passed 85-8) - 285 pages
Filed under Downsizer Dispatch, RTBA
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