DownsizeDC.org
November 2, 2009
Healthcare and Read the Bills: Will you survive the 1,900 page tumor?
By James Wilson

It seems like the more the American people demand that Congress slow down and read its bills, the more Congressional leaders arrogantly counter with mammoth legislation they want to pass in a hurry.

The latest example is the 1,900 page healthcare monstrosity the House leadership unveiled last week. They want a vote on it this week!

I believe they're overreaching, and helping to build our movement.

Please send Congress a letter demanding that they introduce and pass DownsizeDC.org's Read the Bills Act.

This is what I wrote in my personal comments . . .

Congress passed the Patriot renewal bill in 2006, only to discover later that someone had inserted a provision allowing the President to appoint U.S. Attorneys without Senate approval. This year, Congress passed the stimulus bill with the AIG bonuses.

Nearly everyone in Congress was shocked when they learned what they had passed. This happened because Congress didn't read these bills before they voted on them. This is irresponsible.

Will you ever learn?

Now the House leadership wants a rapid vote on a 1,900 page health care bill. This isn't just irresponsible, it's crazy. This so-called health care bill has become a cancerous tumor. Plus, as usual, I'm sure there will be last minute insertions that will surprise everyone once they're exposed to the light of day.  

The best protection against all this insanity is DownsizeDC.org's Read the Bills Act (RTBA). Unlike watered-down proposals currently being considered in Congress, the RTBA will allow the people to read the final versions of bills for seven days before a vote. It will also require each member of Congress who votes yes for a bill to swear that they've read it -- goodbye to the claims of shock when the actual contents of a bill are actually implemented. 

Behind the "read the bills" movement is the understanding of the American people that the legislative process is un-representative, ignorant, and distasteful. Members of Congress who continue to ignore this problem will fuel a bigger and louder backlash.

END LETTER

You can send your letter to Congress here.

We also invite you to add your website or blog to the Read the Bills Act Coalition. Membership will help build awareness about RTBA, and in return we will list your site on our main page. You can learn more at the DownsizeDC.org site.

Today we welcome 2 new members to the Coalition:

Finally, last week Congress passed a total of 15 bills amounting to 525 pages. You can see what bills were passed below my signature.

Thank-you for being a DC Downsizer.

James Wilson
Assistant Communications Director
DownsizeDC.org

 

BILLS PASSED IN CONGRESS

 The following are the bills the House and Senate passed from October 26 through October 30. 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 4 bills, 36 pages


Small Business Act and the Small Business Investment Act of 1958: Senate passed S. 1929, to provide for an additional temporary extension of programs under the Small Business Act and the Small Business Investment Act of 1958. 2 pages

Unemployment Compensation Extension Act--Agreement: A unanimous-consent-time agreement was reached providing that at 5:30 p.m., on Tuesday, October 27, 2009, Senate resume consideration of the motion to proceed to consideration of H.R. 3548, Unemployment Compensation Extension Act, and that there be 30 minutes of debate prior to a vote on the motion to invoke cloture on the motion to proceed to consideration of H.R. 3548, Unemployment Compensation Extension Act; with the time equally divided and controlled between the two Leaders, or their designees, and Senate vote on the motion to invoke cloture on the motion to proceed to consideration of the bill at 6 p.m. 8 pages

Credit CARD Technical Corrections Act: Senate passed 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, clearing the measure for the President. 4 pages

Capitol Police Administrative Technical Corrections Act: Committee on Rules and Administration was discharged from further consideration of H.R. 1299, to make technical corrections to the laws affecting certain administrative authorities of the United States Capitol Police, and the bill was then passed, 22 pages


HOUSE 11 bills, 489 pages


Expanding the boundary of the Jimmy Carter National Historic Site: H.R. 1471, amended, to expand the boundary of the Jimmy Carter National Historic Site in the State of Georgia and to redesignate the unit as a National Historical Park; 6 pages


Authorizing the Secretary of the Interior to adjust the boundary of the Stephen Mather Wilderness and the North Cascades National Park: H.R. 2806, amended, to authorize the Secretary of the Interior to adjust the boundary of the Stephen Mather Wilderness and the North Cascades National Park in order to allow the rebuilding of a road outside of the floodplain while ensuring that there is no net loss of acreage to the Park or the Wilderness; 6 pages

Cascadia Marine Trail Study Act: H.R. 1641, amended, to amend the National Trails System Act to provide for a study of the Cascadia Marine Trail; 4 pages

Department of the Interior, Environment, and Related Agencies Appropriations Act, 2010--Motion to Instruct Conferees: The House agreed to the Simpson motion to instruct conferees on H.R. 2996, making appropriations for the Department of the Interior, environment, and related agencies for the fiscal year ending September 30, 2010, by a yea-and-nay vote of 267 yeas to 147 nays, Roll No. 816. Debate on the motion occurred on Monday, October 26th. 122 pages

AmericaView Geospatial Imagery Mapping Program Act:  H.R. 2489, amended, to authorize a comprehensive national cooperative geospatial imagery mapping program through the United States Geological Survey, to promote use of the program for education, workforce training and development, and applied research, and to support Federal, State, tribal, and local government programs, by a \2/3\ yea-and-nay vote of 379 yeas to 33 nays, Roll No. 817 10 pages

Amending title 36, United States Code, to grant a Federal charter to the Military Officers Association of America: The House passed S. 832, to amend title 36, United States Code, to grant a Federal charter to the Military Officers Association of America. 8 pages

Providing for an additional temporary extension of programs under the Small Business Act and the Small Business Investment Act of 1958: S. 1929, amended, to provide for an additional temporary extension of programs under the Small Business Act and the Small Business Investment Act of 1958; 4 pages

Allowing 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: 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, by a \2/3\ yea-and-nay vote of 420 yeas with none voting ``nay'', Roll No. 819; 3 pages

Federal Judiciary Administrative Improvements Act of 2009: H.R. 3632, to provide improvements for the operations of the Federal courts. 14 pages


Department of the Interior, Environment, and Related Agencies Appropriations Act, 2010--Conference Report: The House agreed to the conference report to accompany H.R. 2996, making appropriations for the Department of the Interior, environment, and related agencies for the fiscal year ending September 30, 2010, by a yea-and-nay vote of 247 yeas to 178 nays, Roll No. 826. 122 pages


Small Business Financing and Investment Act of 2009: The House passed H.R. 3854, to amend the Small Business Act and the Small Business Investment Act of 1958 to improve programs providing access to capital under such Acts, by a yea-and-nay vote of 389 yeas to 32 nays, Roll No. 830. 188 pages

 

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