DownsizeDC.org
May 8, 2008
A Day of Infamy and Inspiration
By James Wilson
Today's Downsizer-Dispatch . . . Quote of the Day:

"I freed thousands of slaves. I could have freed thousands more if they had known they were slaves."
-- Harriet Tubman

Subject: A Day of Infamy & Inspiration

Saturday is an anniversary. May 10, 2005 was a day that will live in infamy. On that date the Senate passed the REAL ID Act.

No Senate majority ever intended this outcome. We had defeated REAL ID in the Senate twice before. After the second vote the Senate declined to vote again.

The White House and the House Republican leadership got around this by inserting the bill into the "Emergency Supplemental Appropriations Act for Defense, the Global War on Terror, and Tsunami Relief, 2005." This bill provided funding for the troops, the war on terror, and Tsunami reflief -- a trifecta of things no politician would oppose.

They might as well have called it the Motherhood, Flag-waving, and Apple Pie Act.

We asked DC Downsizers to alert the Senate to the danger. Nine Senators stood up and objected. They said it was wrong to include this unrelated bill that the Senate had rejected before. But they voted for the combined bill anyway. After all, who could vote against motherhood, flag waving, and apple pie? 

The bill passed, and with it the REAL ID Act. 

We could have sighed and accepted that the REAL ID Act was now the law of the land. We did not. Within a month we were campaigning to repeal REAL ID. Other groups and individuals began to do so too. This Sunday, on my radio show, I'll talk to three of them. I hope you'll tune in, because . . .

We're winning.

Total victory can eventually be ours if we keep pushing. Celebrate the anniversary of the REAL ID deception by pounding Congress with demands to defund and repeal the REAL ID Act. You can send your message here.

Use your personal comments to remind Congress that you know how the bill was passed -- that it was combined with a completely unrelated spending bill that no one in Congress wanted to oppose. Tell them that you know that no Senate majority favored passing this law.

May 10, 2005: A day that became inspiration.

We would also like to note that something good came out of the way REAL ID was passed. It provided part of the inspiration for the "One Subject at a Time Act" (OSTA) 

REAL ID could never have passed had it not been combined with unrelated legislation no politician dared to oppose. The REAL ID program would not exist if OSTA was the law of the land.

OSTA would require every bill to have a clear descriptive title -- a thesis if you will. Based on its title, the bill would be assigned to one of the permanent Congressional committees. The bill could only deal with those topics that are in the purview of that committee and everything in the bill would be required to relate to the title.

Under OSTA it would be impossible to combine something like REAL ID Act with the, "Emergency Supplemental Appropriations Act for Defense, the Global War on Terror, and Tsunami Relief, 2005." And even if Congress tried to do something like this anyway it would provide grounds to void the law in court.

So please join me, as the REAL ID anniversary approaches, in sending a second message today in support of OSTA. Use your personal comments to tell Congress you want OSTA passed because of how REAL ID was passed.

Send two messages . . . 


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Jim Babka
President
DownsizeDC.org, Inc.
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