DownsizeDC.org
June 9, 2009
They think reading the bills is a joke
By James Wilson

MEDIA NOTICE: TONIGHT (June 9) at 8:35 Eastern (5:35 Pacific) DownsizeDC.org President Jim Babka will appear on the Weissbach Show, 570 KVI Seattle. Topics will include Downsize DC, the Read the Bills Act, and health care. You can listen online at http://www.kvi.com.

Quote of the Day: "I have come to the conclusion that one useless man is called a disgrace. That two become a law firm; and that three or more become a congress!" -- John Adams in "1776" by Sherman Edwards & Peter Stone

Subject: They think reading the bills is a joke

Henry Waxman hired a speed-reader in case Republicans demanded that the cap & trade bill be read to the members of the House Energy and Commerce Committee. The Republicans decided not to deploy this "stalling" tactic, so the reader was used only for a couple of minutes, as a joke.

Not only are bills never read before a quorum in Congress, they aren't read in committee either. Our supposed representatives think it's a joke to believe they should know what they're inflicting on us. But we don't think it's funny...

* The cap & trade bill, H.R. 2454, will remake the entire U.S. economy
* The bill is an astounding 932 pages long

But the politicians don't think it's worth reading. In fact, Chairman Waxman introduced the bill on May 15th with the intention moving it out of committee in just one week! It took longer than that, but most of the committee's time was spent defeating Republican amendments - which were also unread.

This bill is so large and convoluted that the normally-reliable Library of Congress still hasn't been able to post a summary of it on their legislative website. It's been three weeks since the bill was introduced and apparently no one understands it well enough to summarize it.

Without DownsizeDC.org's Read the Bills Act (RTBA), Congress has every incentive to make bills as long and convoluted as possible. This allows them to combine reasonable-sounding proposals with special-interest favors. And then, when the bill doesn't work as intended, their solution is always to pass yet another long, convoluted bill.

But under RTBA...

* Congress will have an incentive to make bills as short and clear as possible
* Fewer bills will get passed, meaning government won't grow at such a cancerous rate
* The final version of every bill will be posted on the Internet for at least seven days before a vote, giving the public and the media a chance to read and comment

Tell Congress to pass DownsizeDC.org's Read the Bills Act.

Use your personal comments to tell your Congressional employees that...

* You object to long, convoluted bills like H.R. 2454.
* You're offended by the House Energy & Commerce Committee's speed reading joke
* You'll hold them accountable if they vote for this bill without reading it

To exceed the 36,512 messages we sent last month we need to send at least 1,645 messages today. You can do so using our quick and easy Educate the Powerful System.

We also invite you to add your website or blog to the Read the Bills Act Coalition. It's an effortless way to promote RTBA. In return we'll link to your site on our home page and mention it in a Downsizer-Dispatch reaching more than 25,500 subscribers. You can learn how to join the coalition here.

Today, we welcome one new member to the Coalition:

* North Bay Patriots

You can also see how much legislation Congress passed last week after the Keeping Score section below.

Thank you for being a part of the growing Downsize DC Army. To see how we're growing, check out the Keeping Score report below my signature.

James Wilson
Assistant to the President
DownsizeDC.org

 

KEEPING SCORE

We grew by 15 net new members yesterday, which brings us to 1,178 net new members for the year. The Downsize DC Army now stands at 25,527 -- nearly 53% of the way from 25,000 to 26,000!

YOU can make the army grow even faster by following our quick and easy instructions for personalized recruiting.

We can also grow faster by doing more outreach to potential DC Downsizers. Please help us do this by starting a monthly credit card pledge -- it can be as low as $5 a month (which is just 17 cents per day). You can start your pledge using our secure online contribution form.

Please let us know if its okay to advertise your support here:

NEW MONTHLY PLEDGERS IN JUNE: Dwight E. Baker, David H. Abernathy, John Murphy, Jeremiah J Blanchard -- IN MAY: Don Matesz, Silvy Berman, David Jones, Barbara Baxter, Nancy Kovar, Ryan Ackroyd, WM Michael O'Brien, John C Houghton, James Alan Speedie, THREE unlisted

Or, you could make a one-time donation. Please let us know on our secure contribution form if its okay to advertise your support here:

NEW ONE TIME DONORS IN JUNE: Edward J Krieger, Jan Berridge, THREE unlisted -- IN MAY: Dorothy Davis, Arlene Lindstrand, Dee Clary, Joan Garro, Jennifer Tarling, Richard Linchitz, Steven Palmer, Bruce N. Liddel, Ernest P. Eusea, Chris Reulman, David Anthony, Christopher T Wagner, Thomas Sartwelle, Jr, EIGHT unlisted

BILLS PASSED IN CONGRESS

 The following are the bills the House and Senate passed last week. 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

No bills passed

House 16 pages 267 pages

Avra/Black Wash Reclamation and Riparian Restoration Project:  H.R. 325, to amend the Reclamation Wastewater and Groundwater Study and Facilities Act to authorize the Secretary of the Interior to participate in the Avra/Black Wash Reclamation and Riparian Restoration Project; 4 pages

Central Texas Water Recycling Act of 2009: H.R. 1120, to amend the Reclamation Wastewater and Groundwater Study and Facilities Act to authorize the Secretary of the Interior to participate in the Central Texas Water Recycling and Reuse Project; 4 pages

Lower Rio Grande Valley Water Resources Conservation and Improvement Act of 2009: H.R. 1393, to amend the Lower Rio Grande Valley Water Resources Conservation and Improvement Act of 2000 to authorize additional projects and activities under that Act; 10 pages

Modifying a land grant patent issued by the Secretary of the Interior: H.R. 1280, to modify a land grant patent issued by the Secretary of the Interior; 4 pages

Interchanging the administrative jurisdiction of certain Federal lands between the Forest Service and the Bureau of Land Management: H.R. 689, amended, to interchange the administrative jurisdiction of certain Federal lands between the Forest Service and the Bureau of Land Management; 6 pages

Camp Hale Study Act: H.R. 2330, amended, to direct the Secretary of the Interior to carry out a study to determine the suitability and feasibility of establishing Camp Hale as a unit of the National Park System; 4 pages

Directing the Secretary of the Interior to continue stocking fish in certain lakes: H.R. 2430, to direct the Secretary of the Interior to continue stocking fish in certain lakes in the North Cascades National Park, Ross Lake National Recreation Area, and Lake Chelan National Recreation Area; 6 pages

Josh Miller HEARTS Act: H.R. 1380, to establish a grant program for automated external defibrillators in elementary and secondary schools; 8 pages

Anthony DeJuan Boatwright Act: H.R. 1662, to amend the Child Care and Development Block Grant Act of 1990 to require child care providers to provide to parents information regarding whether such providers carry current liability insurance; 6 pages

Frederic Remington Post Office Building Designation Act: H.R. 2090, to designate the facility of the United States Postal Service located at 431 State Street in Ogdensburg, New York, as the ``Frederic Remington Post Office Building''; 1 page

Carl B. Smith Post Office Designation Act: H.R. 2173, to designate the facility of the United States Postal Service located at 1009 Crystal Road in Island Falls, Maine, as the ``Carl B. Smith Post Office''; 1 page

Thomasina E. Jordan Indian Tribes of Virginia Federal Recognition Act of 2009: The House passed H.R. 1385, to extend Federal recognition to the Chickahominy Indian Tribe, the Chickahominy Indian Tribe-Eastern Division, the Upper Mattaponi Tribe, the Rappahannock Tribe, Inc., the Monacan Indian Nation, and the Nansemond Indian Tribe, by voice vote. 62 pages

Lumbee Recognition Act: The House passed H.R. 31, to provide for the recognition of the Lumbee Tribe of North Carolina, by a yea-and-nay vote of 240 yeas to 179 nays, Roll No. 297. 8 pages

John S. Wilder Post Office Building Designation Act: H.R. 1817, to designate the facility of the United States Postal Service located at 116 North West Street in Somerville, Tennessee, as the ``John S. Wilder Post Office Building'', by a \2/3\ yea-and-nay vote of 420 yeas with none voting ``nay'', Roll No. 302. 1 page

Transportation Security Administration Authorization Act: The House passed H.R. 2200, to authorize the Transportation Security Administration's programs relating to the provision of transportation security, by a recorded vote of 397 ayes to 25 noes, Roll No. 307. 128 pages

Federal Employees Paid Parental Leave Act of 2009: The House passed H.R. 626, to provide that 4 of the 12 weeks of parental leave made available to a Federal employee shall be paid leave, by a recorded vote of 258 ayes to 154 noes with 1 voting ``present'', Roll No. 310. 12 pages

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