DownsizeDC.org
January 4, 2010
How your Congress spent billions, blindfolded
By James Wilson

In the waning hours of 2009 Congress rushed to bundle unrelated bills that they then passed with little consideration or debate. They were so busy with the cancerous healthcare bill that they couldn't be bothered to behave responsibly. DownsizeDC.org's "One Subject at a Time Act" would have prevented this.

Please send your representatives a letter asking them to introduce and pass our "One Subject At A Time Act." https://secure.downsizedc.org/etp/campaigns/83

You can copy or borrow from my letter . . .

Congress's irresponsible behavior in the closing days of 2009 is a perfect example of why we need the One Subject at a Time Act. The obsession with passing a healthcare bill by Christmas was pointless and counterproductive, because . . .
 
* reconciling the Senate bill with the House bill and getting it signed into law wasn't going to happen until 2010 anyway
* other items were more urgent, because the federal government still needed to be funded for 2010 and several laws and programs were facing expiration dates

The obsession with healthcare caused Congress to neglect other bills until the last minute. This means you guys didn't give these bills the time and consideration they deserved. Instead, Congressional leaders combined unrelated bills together and then hastily passed them. An example of this is the Department of Defense Appropriations Act, 2010 (H.R. 3326), which included theoretically "urgent" non-Defense items such as:

* Additional funding for the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program
* Extension of Patriot Act expiration dates to February 28
* Extension of unemployment and COBRA health insurance benefits

It also included non-urgent items such as:

* Compensation to Swain County, NC for the federal government's broken promise to re-build a road it had destroyed
* An Apology to the Native American Peoples

None of the above provisions were in the House version of H.R. 3326 that passed in July, and none except the Apology was included in the Senate version that passed in October. These additional provisions were included very late in the process.

Each deserved to have been considered and debated as a separate bill. You guys essentially passed all of this stuff blindfolded, without having much of a clue about what you were doing.

But Congress didn't have the time to consider them separately, because it was so focused on healthcare.

Dozens of times a year, Congress wastes time passing unimportant bills that do things like naming some obscure post office after a deceased person. And then, because you don't use time wisely, you combine unrelated but expensive and important bills - such as Defense spending and COBRA insurance - into one bill, with little time for debate or deliberation.

This is insulting to me as a citizen, and makes a mockery of the whole idea of representative government.

The One Subject At A Time Act would have . . .

* delayed consideration of the healthcare bill, so that it wouldn't have been rushed;
* given more urgent bills due consideration
* prevented the bundling of unrelated bills into one monstrous package

Republican opponents of this process should introduce OSTA. And Democrats, if they want to keep their jobs, should redeem themselves and sponsor OSTA as well.

END LETTER

You can send your letter to Congress using DownsizeDC.org's Educate the Powerful System: https://secure.downsizedc.org/etp/campaigns/83

Please also make a contribution to further our work: https://secure.downsizedc.org/contribute/

Jim Babka
President
DownsizeDC.org, Inc.

Blog commenting is currently under construction. In the meantime, you can send an email if there's something you'd like to tell us.

What Can We Do For You?

We can help you downsize the federal government, if you want that. All you have to do is join. It's free! In return...

We'll give you an army.

We're recruiting a huge army of supporters to work for what you want.

We'll give you influence.

The Downsize DC Army will exert relentless, resistance-numbing pressure on Congress.

We'll make your voice heard.

We'll use our growing army to make your beliefs heard by everyone, everywhere, every day.

We'll give you winning strategies.

Ideas like our "Read the Bills Act" and the "One Subject at a Time Act" will give you the leverage to win the public debate, control Congress, and Downsize DC!

We'll give you powerful tools.

  • Your free membership includes a subscription to our free email newsletter, the Consent Chronicle, which national talk show host Jerry Hughes calls by far the best newsletter he receives.
  • You'll be able to use our Educate the Powerful SystemSM to pressure Congress. It's easy. All it takes is a few mouse clicks and keyboard strokes. You can do it in your bathrobe while you're drinking your morning coffee, or during a break at work.
  • You'll also gain access to our 16-page strategy document, "The Downsize DC Vision." You'll learn about important insights like "ignoring an axiom," and powerful strategies like "picking off the herd." One reader called this document "the unified field theory" of political change.

To gain these benefits, just enter your email address in the box below and hit Subscribe!

Subscribe to the Consent Chronicle
Enter your email address twice: