DownsizeDC.org
December 21, 2009
Healthcare Reform: Give us a chance to Read the Bill
By James Wilson

President Obama's Saturday radio address was almost mystifying in its arrogance and hypocrisy. His own words underscore the need for the Read the Bills Act.

Please tell Congress to delay passing healthcare legislation until the people have had a chance to read it. And tell them to pass the Read the Bills Act.

This is what I wrote in my letter . . .

President Obama's Saturday radio address claims that because a "clear majority" in the Senate favors the latest slapped-together healthcare bill, that the opposition should just give up. http://tinyurl.com/ybnyoly

President Obama ignores the glaring fact that no "clear majority" of the American people favors these schemes. If anything, a slight majority opposes them. http://www.rttnews.com/ArticleView.aspx?Id=1158932&SMap=1

Should Congress ignore the will of the people? If the people are split on a bill that will reduce their liberties and transform the economy, is it wise for you to blindly move forward on a 2,000 page bill you won't actually read?

Obama goes further to say that anyone who criticizes insurance regulations "simply hasn’t read the bills."

But that's the point!

Give us a chance to read the bills!

The Senate has kept introducing and withdrawing so many proposals that it's hard to figure out whether the latest bill has even been posted online.

And, we don't know what scandalous back-room deals have found their way into the bill.

Obama arrogantly assumes that he has the votes and that the debate should be over.

But how do we know if the debate should be over if we don't know the contents of the bill?

I demand that Democrats and Republicans agree to take some time to consider this bill. It is extremely shallow and immature to stick to an arbitrary Christmas deadline. Instead, Democrats and Republicans should come together and introduce the Read the Bills Act. This will bring sanity back into the process.

But if Democrats insist on ramming this bill through, I encourage Republicans to employ every "delaying" tactic available to them, including having bill read aloud.

If nothing else, this will give the people a chance to actually read the bill.

END LETTER

You can send your message using our Educate the Powerful System. https://secure.downsizedc.org/etp/campaigns/27

We also invite you to join 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: http://www.downsizedc.org/coalition

Today we welcome 3 new members to the Coalition:

Finally, since December 1 Congress has passed a total of 59 bills totaling 2,581 pages. You can see the bills below my signature.

James Wilson
Assistant Communications Director
DownsizeDC.org

BILLS PASSED IN CONGRESS

 The following are the bills the House and Senate passed from December 1 through December 18. 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 6 bills, 204 pages

Non-Federal Public Entities Funds Extension: Senate passed H.R. 4165, to extend through December 31, 2010, the authority of the Secretary of the Army to accept and expend funds contributed by non-Federal public entities to expedite the processing of permits, clearing the measure for the President. 2 pages

Airport and Airway Trust Fund Extension: Senate passed H.R. 4217, to amend the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 to extend the funding and expenditure authority of the Airport and Airway Trust Fund, to amend title 49, United States Code, to extend authorizations for the airport improvement program, clearing the measure for the President. 6 pages

Social Security Act: Senate passed H.R. 4218, to amend titles II and XVI of the Social Security Act to prohibit retroactive payments to individuals during periods for which such individuals are prisoners, fugitive felons, or probation or parole violators, clearing the measure for the President. 4 pages

Consolidated Appropriations Act--Conference Report:  By 57 yeas to 35 nays (Vote No. 374), Senate agreed to the conference report to accompany H.R. 3288, making appropriations for the Departments of Transportation, and Housing and Urban Development, and related agencies for the fiscal year ending September 30, 2010, clearing the measure for the President. 180 pages

Amateur Radio Emergency Communications Enhancement Act: Senate passed S. 1755, to direct the Department of Homeland Security to undertake a study on emergency communications. 8 pages

Expand Veteran Eligibility for Reimbursement: Committee on Veterans' Affairs was discharged from further consideration of H.R. 1377, to amend title 38, United States Code, to expand veteran eligibility for reimbursement by the Secretary of Veterans Affairs for emergency treatment furnished in a non-Department facility, and the bill was then passed, clearing the measure for the President. 4 pages


HOUSE 53 bills, 2,377 pages

Clyde L. Hillhouse Post Office Building Designation Act: H.R. 3667, to designate the facility of the United States Postal Service located at 16555 Springs Street in White Springs, Florida, as the ``Clyde L. Hillhouse Post Office Building'', by a \2/3\ recorded vote of 386 ayes with none voting ``no'', Roll No. 913; 4 pages

Establishing a research, development, and technology demonstration program to improve the efficiency of gas turbines used in combined cycle power generation systems: H.R. 3029, amended, to establish a research, development, and technology demonstration program to improve the efficiency of gas turbines used in combined cycle power generation systems, by a \2/3\ yea-and-nay vote of 266 yeas to 118 nays, Roll No. 911; 6 pages

Energy and Water Research Integration Act: H.R. 3598, amended, to ensure consideration of water intensity in the Department of Energy's energy research, development, and demonstration programs to help guarantee efficient, reliable, and sustainable delivery of energy and water resources. 12 pages

Airline Flight Crew Technical Corrections Act:  S. 1422, to amend the Family and Medical Leave Act of 1993 to clarify the eligibility requirements with respect to airline flight crews; 6 pages

CJ's Home Protection Act of 2009: H.R. 320, to amend the National Manufactured Housing Construction and Safety Standards Act of 1974 to require that weather radios be installed in all manufactured homes manufactured or sold in the United States; 8 pages

Enhanced S.E.C. Enforcement Authority Act: H.R. 2873, amended, to provide enhanced enforcement authority to the Securities and Exchange Commission; 6 pages

Amending the Emergency Economic Stabilization Act of 2008 to provide for additional monitoring and accountability of the Troubled Assets Relief Program: H.R. 1242, amended, to amend the Emergency Economic Stabilization Act of 2008 to provide for additional monitoring and accountability of the Troubled Assets Relief Program, by a \2/3\ yea-and-nay vote of 421 yeas with none voting ``nay'', Roll No. 921; 8 pges

Redundancy Elimination and Enhanced Performance for Preparedness Grants Act:  H.R. 3980, amended, to provide for identifying and eliminating redundant reporting requirements and developing meaningful performance metrics for homeland security preparedness grants, by a \2/3\ yea-and-nay vote of 414 yeas with none voting ``nay'', Roll No. 922; 6 pages

Criminal Investigative Training Restoration Act: H.R. 3963, to provide specialized training to Federal air marshals; 4 pages

Radioactive Import Deterrence Act: H.R. 515, amended, to prohibit the importation of certain low-level radioactive waste into the United States, by a \2/3\ yea-and-nay vote of 309 yeas to 112 nays, Roll No. 919. 6 pages

George Kell Post Office Designation Act:  H.R. 3634, to designate the facility of the United States Postal Service located at 109 Main Street in Swifton, Arkansas, as the ``George Kell Post Office'', by a \2/3\ recorded vote of 415 ayes with none voting ``no'', Roll No. 918. 4 pages

Satellite Home Viewer Update and Reauthorization Act of 2009: H.R. 3570, amended, to amend title 17, United States Code, to reauthorize the satellite statutory license and to conform the satellite and cable statutory licenses to all-digital transmissions, by a \2/3\ yea-and-nay vote of 394 yeas to 11 nays, Roll No. 930. 108 pages

Permanent Estate Tax Relief for Families, Farmers, and Small Businesses Act of 2009: The House passed H.R. 4154, to amend the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 to repeal the new carryover basis rules in order to prevent tax increases and the imposition of compliance burdens on many more estates than would benefit from repeal and to retain the estate tax with a $3,500,000 exemption, by a yea-and-nay vote of 225 yeas to 200 nays, Roll No. 929. 44 pages

Northwest Straits Marine Conservation Initiative Reauthorization Act of 2009:  H.R. 1672, amended, to reauthorize the Northwest Straits Marine Conservation Initiative Act to promote the protection of the resources of the Northwest Straits; 18 pages

Migratory Bird Treaty Act Penalty and Enforcement Act of 2009: H.R. 2062, amended, to amend the Migratory Bird Treaty Act to provide for penalties and enforcement for intentionally taking protected avian species; 4 pages

Authorizing the Secretary of the Interior to extend grants and other assistance to facilitate a political status public education program for the people of Guam: H.R. 3940, amended, to authorize the Secretary of the Interior to extend grants and other assistance to facilitate a political status public education program for the people of Guam; 4 pages

Multinational Species Conservation Funds Semipostal Stamp Act of 2009: H.R. 1454, amended, to provide for the issuance of a Multinational Species Conservation Funds Semipostal Stamp; 6 pages

Authorizing the addition of 100 acres to Morristown National Historical Park: H.R. 118, amended, to authorize the addition of 100 acres to Morristown National Historical Park; 4 pages

National Park Service Authorities and Corrections Act of 2009: H.R. 3804, amended, to make technical corrections to various Acts affecting the National Park Service and to extend, amend, or establish certain National Park Service authorities; 18 pages

Petersburg National Battlefield Boundary Modification Act: H.R. 3388, amended, to modify the boundary of Petersburg National Battlefield in the Commonwealth of Virginia. 6 pages

Renaming the Ocmulgee National Monument: H.R. 3603, amended, to rename the Ocmulgee National Monument; 4 pages

Eliminating an unused lighthouse reservation, providing management consistency by bringing the rocks and small islands along the coast of Orange County, California, and meeting the original Congressional intent of preserving Orange County's rocks and small islands: H.R. 86, amended, to eliminate an unused lighthouse reservation, provide management consistency by bringing the rocks and small islands along the coast of Orange County, California, and meet the original Congressional intent of preserving Orange County's rocks and small islands. 4 pages

Directing the President to transmit to Congress a report on anti-American incitement to violence in the Middle East:  H.R. 2278, amended, to direct the President to transmit to Congress a report on anti-American incitement to violence in the Middle East, by a \2/3\ yea-and-nay vote of 395 yeas to 3 nays with 9 voting ``present'', Roll No. 936; 6 pages

Western Hemisphere Drug Policy Commission Act of 2009: H.R. 2134, amended, to establish the Western Hemisphere Drug Policy Commission; 14 pages

FBI Families of Fallen Heroes Act: H.R. 2711, amended, to amend title 5, United States Code, to provide for the transportation of the dependents, remains, and effects of certain Federal employees who die while performing official duties or as a result of the performance of official duties; 6 pages

Extending through December 31, 2010, the authority of the Secretary of the Army to accept and expend funds contributed by non-Federal public entities to expedite the processing of permits: H.R. 4165, to extend through December 31, 2010, the authority of the Secretary of the Army to accept and expend funds contributed by non-Federal public entities to expedite the processing of permits; 4 pages

Amending the Water Resources Development Act of 1992 to modify an environmental infrastructure project for Big Bear Lake, California: H.R. 1854, to amend the Water Resources Development Act of 1992 to modify an environmental infrastructure project for Big Bear Lake, California; 4 pages

Authorizing the Board of Regents of the Smithsonian Institution to plan, design, and construct a vehicle maintenance building at the vehicle maintenance branch of the Smithsonian Institution located in Suitland, Maryland: H.R. 3224, to authorize the Board of Regents of the Smithsonian Institution to plan, design, and construct a vehicle maintenance building at the vehicle maintenance branch of the Smithsonian Institution located in Suitland, Maryland; 4 pages

Data Accountability and Trust Act: H.R. 2221, amended, to protect consumers by requiring reasonable security policies and procedures to protect computerized data containing personal information, and to provide for nationwide notice in the event of a security breach; 40 pages

Informed P2P User Act: H.R. 1319, amended, to prevent the inadvertent disclosure of information on a computer through the use of certain ``peer-to-peer'' file sharing software without first providing notice and obtaining consent from the owner or authorized user of the computer; 10 pages

Fiscal Year 2010 Federal Aviation Administration Extension Act, Part II: H.R. 4217, to amend the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 to extend the funding and expenditure authority of the Airport and Airway Trust Fund and to amend title 49, United States Code, to extend authorizations for the airport improvement program; 8 pages

No Social Security Benefits for Prisoners Act of 2009: H.R. 4218, to amend titles II and XVI of the Social Security Act to prohibit retroactive payments to individuals during periods for which such individuals are prisoners, fugitive felons, or probation or parole violators. 6 pages

Roy Rondeno, Sr. Post Office Building Designation Act:  H.R. 3951, to designate the facility of the United States Postal Service located at 2000 Louisiana Avenue in New Orleans, Louisiana, as the ``Roy Rondeno, Sr. Post Office Building'', by a \2/3\ yea-and-nay vote of 417 yeas to 1 nay, Roll No. 941. 4 pages

Tax Extenders Act of 2009: The House passed H.R. 4213, to amend the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 to extend certain expiring provisions, by a recorded vote of 241 ayes to 181 noes, Roll No. 943. 112 pages

Renaming the Ocmulgee National Monument:  H.R. 3603, amended, to rename the Ocmulgee National Monument, by a \2/3\ yea-and-nay vote of 419 yeas with none voting ``nay'', Roll No. 944 4 pages

Eliminating an unused lighthouse reservation, providing management consistency by bringing the rocks and small islands along the coast of Orange County, California, and meeting the original Congressional intent of preserving Orange County's rocks and small islands: H.R. 86, amended, to eliminate an unused lighthouse reservation, provide management consistency by bringing the rocks and small islands along the coast of Orange County, California, and meet the original Congressional intent of preserving Orange County's rocks and small islands, by a \2/3\ yea-and-nay vote of 397 yeas to 4 nays, Roll No. 946. 4 pages

Ann Marie Blute Post Office Designation Act: H.R. 4017, to designate the facility of the United States Postal Service located at 43 Maple Avenue in Shrewsbury, Massachusetts, as the ``Ann Marie Blute Post Office'', by a \2/3\ recorded vote of 419 ayes with none voting ``no'', Roll No. 950; 4 pages

Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2010--Conference Report: The House agreed to the conference report to accompany H.R. 3288, making appropriations for the Departments of Transportation, and Housing and Urban Development, and related agencies for the fiscal year ending September 30, 2010, by a yea-and-nay vote of 221 yeas to 202 nays with 1 voting ``present'', Roll No. 949. 162 pages

Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act of 2009: The House passed H.R. 4173, to provide for financial regulatory reform, to protect consumers and investors, to enhance Federal understanding of insurance issues, and to regulate the over-the-counter derivatives markets, by a recorded vote of 223 ayes to 202 noes, Roll No. 968. 1,279 pages

Extending the Generalized System of Preferences and the Andean Trade Preference Act:  H.R. 4284, to extend the Generalized System of Preferences and the Andean Trade Preference Act; 4 pages

Federal Financial Assistance Management Improvement Act of 2009: S. 303, amended, to reauthorize and improve the Federal Financial Assistance Management Improvement Act of 1999; 20 pages

Allowing certain U.S. Customs and Border Protection employees who serve under an overseas limited appointment for at least 2 years, and whose service is rated fully successful or higher throughout that time, to be converted to a permanent appointment in the competitive service: H.R. 1517, amended, to allow certain U.S. Customs and Border Protection employees who serve under an overseas limited appointment for at least 2 years, and whose service is rated fully successful or higher throughout that time, to be converted to a permanent appointment in the competitive service, by a \2/3\ recorded vote of 414 ayes to 1 no, Roll No. 972; 8 pages

First Responder Anti-Terrorism Training Resources Act: H.R. 3978, to amend the Implementing Recommendations of the 9/11 Commission Act of 2007 to authorize the Secretary of Homeland Security to accept and use gifts for otherwise authorized activities of the Center for Domestic Preparedness that are related to preparedness for and response to terrorism, by a \2/3\ recorded vote of 413 ayes to 1 no, Roll No. 973; 4 pages

Human Rights Enforcement Act of 2009: S. 1472, to establish a section within the Criminal Division of the Department of Justice to enforce human rights laws, to make technical and conforming amendments to criminal and immigration laws pertaining to human rights violations, by a \2/3\ recorded vote of 416 ayes to 3 noes, Roll No. 977; 6 pages

Commercial Advertisement Loudness Mitigation Act: H.R. 1084, amended, to require the Federal Communications Commission to prescribe a standard to preclude commercials from being broadcast at louder volumes than the program material they accompany; 4 pages

Iran Refined Petroleum Sanctions Act of 2009: H.R. 2194, amended, to amend the Iran Sanctions Act of 1996 to enhance United States diplomatic efforts with respect to Iran by expanding economic sanctions against Iran, by a \2/3\ recorded vote of 412 ayes to 12 noes with 4 voting ``present'', Roll No. 975. 30 pages

PHONE Act of 2009: H.R. 1110, amended, to amend title 18, United States Code and to prevent caller ID spoofing, by a \2/3\ recorded vote of 418 ayes to 1 no, Roll No. 986; 6 pages

Daniel Pearl Freedom of the Press Act of 2009: H.R. 3714, amended, to amend the Foreign Assistance Act of 1961 to include in the Annual Country Reports on Human Rights Practices information about freedom of the press in foreign countries and to establish a grant program to promote freedom of the press worldwide, by a \2/3\ recorded vote of 403 ayes to 12 noes, Roll No. 989; 6 pages

Law Student Clinic Participation Act of 2009: H.R. 4194, to amend title 18, United States Code, to exempt qualifying law school students participating in legal clinics or externships from the application of the conflict of interest rules under section 205 of such title; 4 pages

Local Community Radio Act of 2009: H.R. 1147, amended, to implement the recommendations of the Federal Communications Commission report to the Congress regarding low-power FM service. 10 pages

Department of Defense Appropriations Act, 2010: The House concurred in the Senate amendment to H.R. 3326, making appropriations for the Department of Defense for the fiscal year ending September 30, 2010, with the amendment printed in part A of H. Rept. 111-380, by a yea-and-nay vote of 395 yeas to 34 nays, Roll No. 985. 158 pages

Permitting continued financing of Government operations: The House passed H.R. 4314, to permit continued financing of Government operations, by a recorded vote of 218 ayes to 214 noes, Roll No. 988. 4 pages

Commerce, Justice, Science, and Related Agencies Appropriations Act, 2010: The House concurred in the Senate amendment to H.R. 2847, D1480making appropriations for the Departments of Commerce and Justice, and Science, and Related Agencies for the fiscal year ending September 30, 2010, with the amendment printed in part B of H. Rept. 111-380, by a recorded vote of 217 ayes to 212 noes, Roll No. 991. 160 pages



 

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