DownsizeDC.org
December 3, 2010
DANGER: Will Bureaucrats Rewrite the "Read the Bills Act?"
By James Wilson

Quote of the day:

There is a tide in the affairs of men
Which, taken at the flood, leads on to fortune;
Omitted, all the voyage of their life
Is bound in shallows and in miseries.
On such a full sea are we now afloat,
And we must take the current when it serves,
Or lose our ventures.

-- Julius Caesar Act 4, scene 3, 218–224

You're going to have more influence in Congress in 2011. In case you missed the Dispatches that announced the news . . .

We now have cosponsors in both chambers of Congress for all of our Downsize DC agenda bills . . .

* The Read the Bills Act
* The One Subject at a Time Act
* The Write the Laws Act

This is great news, but it also presents two dangers . . .

Danger one:

The politicians who have committed to introduce our bills could back out once Congressional leaders start to pressure them.

Solution . . .

Our allies in the Susquehanna Valley Regional Tea Party (SVRTP) are our best protection against this danger. They will exert the person-to-person counter-pressure that will maintain the commitment to our bills. But this means . . .

We need to give the SVRTP the support they need to keep their Congressional delegation on board. And the SVRTP has asked us for something specific . . .

They want to have a meeting with their members of Congress. They want to present the exact, correct wording of all of our bills, and do so in the required legislative format used by Congress. We must act immediately to honor this request. But . . .

It isn't as easy as it sounds.

All of our Downsize DC Agenda bills were written years ago. We reference Congressional rules and sections of law that may have changed in the meantime. Each of our bills needs to be reviewed and updated by our attorneys, and all of our bills must then be rendered in the correct format. Which brings us to . . .

Danger two:

Congressional bureaucrats could rewrite our bills unless we take preventative action to prevent that. This may sound strange to you, but it's true . . .

The bills that become the laws that you must obey are NOT necessarily written by your elected representatives. They're often written -- sometimes "tamed" -- by a Congressional bureaucracy called the Office of Legislative Counsel -- OLC for short.

When our co-sponsors introduce our legislation, each of our bills will be given to the OLC for review. The OLC will look for "mistakes," and then provide the "approved" version of the text that will be considered by the relevant Congressional committees. For the most part this is a routine matter . . .

The OLC really does try to give members of Congress what they want. But there are examples where the OLC has changed the intent of legislation -- in one case, they killed a bill. We must not allow this to happen to our bills!

Solution . . .

The best way to prevent such alterations is to make sure, IN ADVANCE, that our bills contain NO MISTAKES that would give the OLC an excuse to make changes. This means that we have a desperate need to put our attorneys to work RIGHT NOW so that we can . . .

* Give the SVRTP good-to-go versions of our bills to give to their members of Congress
* Give the bills to Rand Paul too for introduction in the Senate
* Correct any mistakes that might lead the OLC to make unwanted changes to our bills

We must get our Downsize DC Agenda bills submitted to Congress without mistakes, and we must do it NOW. Please help us fund this legal work by making a contribution today.

This is an urgent matter, so we hope you can help. "There is a tide in the affairs of men, which taken at the flood, leads on to fortune; omitted, all the voyage of their life is bound in shallows and in miseries."

This is the best opportunity we've ever had. Let's "take it at the flood."

Jim Babka
President
DownsizeDC.org, Inc.

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