DownsizeDC.org
October 26, 2009
Health Care and Cap & Trade both require the Read the Bills Act
By James Wilson

The healthcare bill and the cap and trade bill both threaten to completely remake two of the largest sectors of our economy. The President and Congressional leaders tell us these massive makeovers are so urgent that these bills must be passed soon -- so soon that they can't allow time to read them, even for 72 hours. But notice . . .

  • They're taking months to work out the gruesome details
  • Most health care reforms won't begin until 2013
  • The effects of the cap&trade bill won't be seen for decades
  • After spending months on both of these bills, secret provisions will still be added at the last minute

In short, Congress is taking a long time to reach the point where they'll rush these bills to a final vote, but then it will take years or decades for these bills to really take effect.

This is a contradiction. DownsizeDC.org's Read the Bills Act would resolve the contradiction by compelling Congress to be deliberate.

Please send Congress a letter telling them they need to pass DownsizeDC.org's Read the Bills Act.

You can use my letter as a model for your own, or simply past it into your personal comments . . .

Congress is taking months to craft legislation on health care and cap and trade. These bills will then have delayed implementations, or delayed effects. But despite these facts I know that you'll rush them to a vote at the last minute, without taking the time to read them, understand them, or debate them. This is a contradiction.

I also know that many secret and probably unrelated provisions will be added to them at the last minute. This has happened so often in the past that I know you'll do it again with the health care and cap & trade bills. This is irresponsible.

Neither I nor you will really know what you've passed for days or weeks after the final vote. This is intolerable.

It's obvious to me that Congress cannot be trusted to behave responsibly, or even to follow it's own rules. That's why we need a law to make you behave. Please introduce and pass DownsizeDC.org's "Read the Bills Act."

END LETTER TO CONGRESS

You can send your letter to Congress here.

Please also add your website or blog to the Read the Bills Act Coalition. It's quick and easy, and will build public awareness about the Read the Bills Act. In return, your site will be listed on our blog and be listed in a Downsizer-Dispatch. You can join at the DownsizeDC.org website.

Today we welcome 3 new members to the Coalition:

Finally, over the past three weeks the House passed 33 bills totaling 1,779 pages, and the Senate passed 18 bills totaling 1,728 pages. You can see the list of bills in the blog version of this Dispatch:

http://www.downsizedc.org/blog/health-care-and-cap-amp-trade-both-require-the-read-the-bills-act

James Wilson
Assistant Communications Director
DownsizeDC.org

 

BILLS PASSED IN CONGRESS

 The following are the bills the House and Senate passed from August 1 through September 1. The bills were passed by voice vote except where indicated. Roll call votes for the House are found here, and for the Senate here. The descriptions of bills are essentially taken 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.

 

SENATE 18 bills 1728 pages

Safe Prisons Communications Act: Senate passed S. 251, to amend the Communications Act of 1934 to permit targeted interference with mobile radio services within prison facilities, after agreeing to the committee amendment in the nature of a substitute. 23 pages

Social Security Act: Senate passed H.R. 3663, to amend title XVIII of the Social Security Act to delay the date on which the accreditation requirement under the Medicare Program applies to suppliers of durable medical equipment that are pharmacies, clearing the measure for the President. 2 pages

Department of Defense Appropriations Act: By 93 yeas to 7 nays (Vote No. 315), Senate passed H.R. 3326, making appropriations for the Department of Defense for the fiscal year ending September 30, 2010, agreeing to the committee-reported amendment in the nature of a substitute, 138 pages

Government Charge Card Abuse Prevention Act: Senate passed S. 942, to prevent the abuse of Government charge cards. 18 pages

Pilot College Work Study Programs for Veterans Act: Committee on Veterans' Affairs was discharged from further consideration of H.R. 1037, to direct the Secretary of Veterans Affairs to conduct a five-year pilot project to test the feasibility and advisability of expanding the scope of certain qualifying work-study activities under title 38, United States Code, and the bill was then passed, after striking all after the enacting clause and inserting in lieu thereof, the text of S. 728, to amend title 38, United States Code, to enhance veterans' insurance benefits, 3 pages

Agriculture, Rural Development, Food and Drug Administration, and Related Agencies Appropriations Act Conference Report: By 76 yeas to 22 nays (Vote No. 318), Senate agreed to the conference report to accompany H.R. 2997, making appropriations for Agriculture, Rural Development, Food and Drug Administration, and Related Agencies programs for the fiscal year ending September 30, 2010. 96 pages

Energy and Water Development and Related Agencies Appropriations Act Conference Report-Cloture: Senate began consideration of the conference report to accompany H.R. 3183, making appropriations for energy and water development and related agencies for the fiscal year ending September 30, 2010. 84 pages

United States Secret Service Uniformed Division Modernization Act: Senate passed S. 1510, to transfer statutory entitlements to pay and hours of work authorized by the District of Columbia Code for current members of the United States Secret Service Uniformed Division from the District of Columbia Code to the United States Code. 24 pages

Congressional Gold Medal: Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs was discharged from further consideration of S. 846, to award a congressional gold medal to Dr. Muhammad Yunus, in recognition of his contributions to the fight against global poverty, and the bill was then passed. 5 pages

Franklin Delano Roosevelt Documents: Senate passed S. 692, to provide that claims of the United States to certain documents relating to Franklin Delano Roosevelt shall be treated as waived and relinquished in certain circumstances. 4 pages

Digital Television Transition and Public Safety Act of 2005: Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation was discharged from further consideration of S. 1694, to allow the funding for the interoperable emergency communications grant program established under the Digital Television Transition and Public Safety Act of 2005 to remain available until expended through fiscal year 2012, and the bill was then passed. 5 pages

Energy and Water Development and Related Agencies Appropriations Act Conference Report: By 80 yeas to 17 nays (Vote No. 322), Senate agreed to the conference report to accompany H.R. 3183, making appropriations for energy and water development and related agencies for the fiscal year ending September 30, 2010. 84 pages

Public Health Service Act:  Senate passed S. 1793, to amend title XXVI of the Public Health Service Act to revise and extend the program for providing life-saving care for those with HIV/AIDS, 52 pages

Girl Scouts Centennial Commemorative Coin Act: Senate passed H.R. 621, to require the Secretary of the Treasury to mint coins in commemoration of the centennial of the establishment of the Girl Scouts of the United States of America, clearing the measure for the President. 10 pages

Morris K. Udall Scholarship and Excellence in National Environmental and Native American Public Policy Act: Senate passed S. 1818, to amend the Morris K. Udall Scholarship and Excellence in National Environmental and Native American Public Policy Act of 1992 to honor the legacy of Stewart L. Udall. 10 pages

By 79 yeas to 19 nays (Vote No. 323), Senate agreed to the conference report to accompany H.R. 2892, making appropriations for the Department of Homeland Security for the fiscal year ending September 30, 2010. 104 pages

Medal of Honor Commemorative Coin Act: Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs was discharged from further consideration of H.R. 1209, to require the Secretary of the Treasury to mint coins in recognition and celebration of the establishment of the Medal of Honor in 1861, America's highest award for valor in action against an enemy force which can be bestowed upon an individual serving in the Armed Services of the United States, to honor the American military men and women who have been recipients of the Medal of Honor, and to promote awareness of what the Medal of Honor represents and how ordinary Americans, through courage, sacrifice, selfless service and patriotism, can challenge fate and change the course of history, and the bill was then passed, clearing the measure for the President. 9 pages


National Defense Authorization Act Conference Report: By 68 yeas to 29 nays (Vote No. 327), Senate agreed to the conference report to accompany H.R. 2647, to authorize appropriations for fiscal year 2010 for military activities of the Department of Defense, for military construction, and for defense activities of the Department of Energy, to prescribe military personnel strengths for such fiscal year, to provide special pays and allowances to certain members of the Armed Forces, expand concurrent receipt of military retirement and VA disability benefits to disabled military retirees. 1158 pages


HOUSE 33 bills, 1779 pages

Authorizing major medical facility leases for the Department of Veterans Affairs for fiscal year 2010: S. 1717, to authorize major medical facility leases for the Department of Veterans Affairs for fiscal year 2010; 6 pages

Rex E. Lee Post Office Building Designation Act: H.R. 3547, to designate the facility of the United States Postal Service located at 936 South 250 East in Provo, Utah, as the ``Rex E. Lee Post Office Building''; 1 page

Clyde Hichborn Post Office Designation Act: H.R. 2174, to designate the facility of the United States Postal Service located at 18 Main Street in Howland, Maine, as the ``Clyde Hichborn Post Office''; 1 page

Kingman and Heritage Islands Act of 2009: H.R. 2092, amended, to amend the National Children's Island Act of 1995 to expand allowable uses for Kingman and Heritage Islands by the District of Columbia; 6 pages

Providing for the concurrence by the House in the Senate amendment to H.R. 1035, with an amendment: H. Res. 806, to provide for the concurrence by the House in the Senate amendment to H.R. 1035, with an amendment, by a \2/3\ yea-and-nay vote of 358 yeas to 66 nays, Roll No. 762. 26 pages

Service Members Home Ownership Tax Act of 2009: H.R. 3590, to amend the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 to modify the first-time homebuyers credit in the case of members of the Armed Forces and certain other Federal employees. 8 pages

Providing for the concurrence by the House in the Senate amendment to H.R. 1016, with amendment: H. Res. 804, to provide for the concurrence by the House in the Senate amendment to H.R. 1016, with amendment. 6 pages

Agriculture, Rural Development, Food and Drug Administration, and Related Agencies Appropriations Act, 2010--Conference Report: The House agreed to the conference report to accompany H.R. 2997, making appropriations for Agriculture, Rural Development, Food and Drug Administration, and Related Agencies programs for the fiscal year ending September 30, 2010, by a yea-and-nay vote of 263 yeas to 162 nays, Roll No. 761. 96 pages

Service Members Home Ownership Tax Act of 2009: H.R. 3590, to amend the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 to modify the first-time homebuyers credit in the case of members of the Armed Forces and certain other Federal employees, by a \2/3\ yea-and-nay vote of 416 yeas with none voting ``nay'', Roll No. 768; 8 pages

Providing for the concurrence by the House in the Senate amendment to H.R. 1016, with amendment: H. Res. 804, to provide for the concurrence by the House in the Senate amendment to H.R. 1016, with amendment, by a \2/3\ yea-and-nay vote of 419 yeas to 1 ``nay'', Roll No. 771. 6 pages

National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2010--Conference Report: The House agreed to the conference report to accompany H.R. 2647, to authorize appropriations for fiscal year 2010 for military activities of the Department of Defense, for military construction, and for defense activities of the Department of Energy, to prescribe military personnel strengths for such fiscal year, to provide special pays and allowances to certain members of the Armed Forces, and to expand concurrent receipt of military retirement and VA disability benefits to disabled military retirees, by a recorded vote of 281 ayes to 146 noes, Roll No. 770. 848 pages

Providing for an extension of the legislative authority of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Fund, Inc.: H.R. 3689, to provide for an extension of the legislative authority of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Fund, Inc. to establish a Vietnam Veterans Memorial visitor center, by a \2/3\ yea-and-nay vote of 390 yeas with none voting ``nay'', Roll No. 772; 2 pages

Amending the Wild and Scenic Rivers Act: H.R. 1593, amended, to amend the Wild and Scenic Rivers Act to designate a segment of Illabot Creek in Skagit County, Washington, as a component of the National Wild and Scenic Rivers System; 3 pages

Junior Duck Stamp Conservation and Design Program Reauthorization Act of 2009: H.R. 3537, to amend and reauthorize the Junior Duck Stamp Conservation and Design Program Act of 1994; 4 pages

Amending the North American Wetlands Conservation Act: H.R. 3433, to amend the North American Wetlands Conservation Act to establish requirements regarding payment of the non-Federal share of the costs of wetlands conservation projects in Canada that are funded under that Act; 3 pages

Reauthorizing the Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area Citizen Advisory Commission: H.R. 3476, to reauthorize the Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area Citizen Advisory Commission, by a \2/3\ yea-nay vote of 384 yeas to 1 nay, Roll No. 773; 4 pages

1st Lieutenant Louis Allen Post Office Designation Act: H.R. 2877, to designate the facility of the United States Postal Service located at 76 Brookside Avenue in Chester, New York, as the ``1st Lieutenant Louis Allen Post Office''; 2 pages

Credit CARD Technical Corrections Act of 2009: H.R. 3606, to amend the Truth in Lending Act to make a technical correction to an amendment made by the Credit CARD Act of 2009; 4 pages

Girl Scouts USA Centennial Commemorative Coin Act: H.R. 621, amended, to require the Secretary of the Treasury to mint coins in commemoration of the centennial of the establishment of the Girl Scouts of the United States of America. 10 pages

Airline Safety and Pilot Training Improvement Act of 2009: H.R. 3371, amended, to amend title 49, United States Code, to improve airline safety and pilot training, by a \2/3\ yea-and-nay vote of 409 yeas to 11 nays, Roll No. 778; 54 pages

Maritime Workforce Development Act: H.R. 2651, amended, to amend title 46, United States Code, to direct the Secretary of Transportation to establish a maritime career training loan program; 22 pages

National Women's History Museum Act of 2009: H.R. 1700, amended, to authorize the Administrator of General Services to convey a parcel of real property in the District of Columbia to provide for the establishment of a National Women's History Museum; 10 pages

Iran Sanctions Enabling Act of 2009: H.R. 1327, amended, to authorize State and local governments to direct divestiture from, and prevent investment in, companies with investments of $20,000,000 or more in Iran's energy sector, by a \2/3\ yea-and-nay vote of 414 yeas to 6 nays, Roll No. 776. 11 pages

Department of Homeland Security Appropriations Act, 2010--Conference Report: The House agreed to the conference report to accompany H.R. 2892, making appropriations for the Department of Homeland Security for the fiscal year ending September 30, 2010, by a yea-and-nay vote of 307 yeas to 114 nays, Roll No. 784. 104 pages

George P. Kazen Federal Building and United States Courthouse Designation Act: H.R. 2423, amended, to designate the Federal building and United States courthouse located at 1300 Victoria Street in Laredo, Texas, as the ``George P. Kazen Federal Building and United States Courthouse'', and to designate the jury room in that Federal building and United States courthouse as the ``Marcel C. Notzon II Jury Room'', by a \2/3\ yea-and-nay vote of 421 yeas with none voting ``nay'', Roll No. 785. 4 pages

Bay Area Regional Water Recycling Program Expansion Act of 2009: The House passed H.R. 2442, to amend the Reclamation Wastewater and Groundwater Study and Facilities Act to expand the Bay Area Regional Water Recycling Program, by a yea-and-nay vote of 241 yeas to 173 nays, Roll No. 789. 4 pages

Amending the Fair Credit Reporting Act to provide for an exclusion from Red Flag Guidelines for certain businesses: H.R. 3763, to amend the Fair Credit Reporting Act to provide for an exclusion from Red Flag Guidelines for certain businesses, by a \2/3\ yea-and-nay vote of 400 yeas with none voting ``nay'', Roll No. 790; 6 pages

Army Specialist Jeremiah Paul McCleery Post Office Building Designation Act: H.R. 3319, to designate the facility of the United States Postal Service located at 440 South Gulling Street in Portola, California, as the ``Army Specialist Jeremiah Paul McCleery Post Office Building'', by a \2/3\ yea-and-nay vote of 401 yeas with none voting ``nay'', Roll No. 791; 4 pages

Extending the commercial space transportation liability regime: H.R. 3819, to extend the commercial space transportation liability regime; 4 pages

Ryan White HIV/AIDS Treatment Extension Act of 2009: S. 1793, to amend title XXVI of the Public Health Service Act to revise and extend the program for providing life-saving care for those with HIV/AIDS, by a \2/3\ yea-and-nay vote of 408 yeas to 9 nays, Roll No. 793; 52 pages

Morris K. Udall Scholarship and Excellence in National Environmental Policy Amendments Act of 2009: S. 1818, to amend the Morris K. Udall Scholarship and Excellence in National Environmental and Native American Public Policy Act of 1992 to honor the legacy of Stewart L. Udall; 8 pages

Solar Technology Roadmap Act: The House passed H.R. 3585, to guide and provide for United States research, development, and demonstration of solar energy technologies, by a yea-and-nay vote of 310 yeas to 106 nays, Roll No. 807. 30 pages

Coast Guard Authorization Act of 2010: The House passed H.R. 3619, to authorize appropriations for the Coast Guard for fiscal year 2010, by a yea-and-nay vote of 385 yeas to 11 nays, Roll No. 813. Consideration of the measure began on Thursday, October 22nd. 319 pages
 

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