DownsizeDC.org's "One Subject at a Time Act" (OSTA)

Sponsored

I'm Jim Babka, President of DownsizeDC.org, Inc.

My team created the "One Subject at a Time Act" (OSTA) to make you more powerful. Most legislation aims to control you, but OSTA will control Congress instead. It will . . .

[Photo of Jim Babka]
  • Stop Congressional leaders from passing unwanted laws by attaching them to popular, but unrelated, bills.
  • Require each bill to be about ONLY one subject, and to stand or fall entirely on its own merits.
  • Make it easier for your elected officials to represent you by allowing them to vote on specific proposals, instead of on groups of bills containing divergent measures.
  • Create a de facto "line item veto" by putting only one measure under the President's pen at any one time.
  • Give you expanded influence by making bad legislation more vulnerable to public opposition.

And OSTA has been introduced in Congress by Congressman Tom Marino!

[Photo of Tom Marino]

Please let me show you how you can gain these benefits, and more, with just a few keyboard strokes and mouse clicks . . .

  • I'll give you examples of bad laws that OSTA would have prevented.
  • I'll show you how OSTA will be enforced.
  • I'll also describe a strategy for getting OSTA passed.

You can use the form the at right whenever you're ready to ask your House Rep. and your two Senators to co-sponsor OSTA.

  • Doing so will also give you on-going access to our Educate the Powerful System, which you can use to issue future instructions to Congress on other issues.
  • Plus, you'll get a free subscription to our email newsletter, "The Consent Chronicle." One national radio host called it the best newsletter he received.
  • And, you'll be joining with tens of thousands of DC Downsizers to cause meaningful change.
[Photo of Ron Paul]

OSTA was introduced for the first time during the last Congress. Nine members co-sponsored the bill, including Ron Paul. This time, we aim to do even better, even though five of those original co-sponsors are no longer in office. We maintain a current list of co-sponsors on our Background page.

Getting YOUR elected representatives to co-sponsor OSTA may be as easy as asking them, using the form at right.

Please be aware: Our Educate the Powerful System does NOT send emails to Congress. Instead, our system simultaneously fills out the respective webforms of your Representative and your two Senators. Our system saves you the time of having to visit three different web sites to fill out three different forms just to send one message. PLUS, after you've sent your first letter using our system, sending future letters can be as easy as a few keyboard strokes and mouse clicks.

This is a powerful tool which you can access right now, if you decide to support the "One Subject at a Time Act" by sending a letter to Congress.

Here's what the "One Subject at a Time Act" would do for YOU . . .

Right now, Congressional leaders routinely pass laws that lack majority support. They do this by combining unpopular bills with unrelated measures that your representatives are afraid to oppose. This subjects you to "legislation without representation," because most legislative proposals become laws without a specific vote from your representatives.

Do you want to end this abusive practice? The "One Subject at a Time Act" would do that. It's up to you to ask Congress to pass it. You can do that using the form at right.

You can just send our one sentence pre-written request to your representatives or, even better, personalize the message with your comments. It's that easy! Sending your letter to Congress will also give you on-going access to our Educate the Powerful System for contacting Congress PLUS our free email newsletter, the Consent Chronicle.

Here are two examples of specific bad bills that OSTA would have prevented from becoming laws . . .

EXAMPLE #1:

The REAL ID Act did something Americans have always rejected. It created a national identification system. This idea had so little support it couldn't even be brought to a vote in the Senate. But Congressional leaders got it passed anyway. They attached it to a bill Senators were afraid to oppose — the "Emergency, Supplemental Appropriations Act for Defense, the Global War on Terror, and Tsunami Relief." (May, 2005)

Senators were scared to defeat a bill that funded the troops, so the REAL ID Act became the law of the land.

Is this how you want to be governed? Will you submit to it or fight it? If you want to end the practice of combining unrelated bills, please use the form at right to ask your elected representatives to co-sponsor OSTA.

EXAMPLE #2:

The Senate Majority Leader believed that gambling was immoral. So he promoted a bill to outlaw online poker. But he lacked the votes to get it passed, so, mere hours before the vote, he attached his unwanted legislation to a Port Security bill that most in Congress favored. The result . . .

Online gambling was outlawed, and a whole industry was destroyed in the blink of an eye!

OSTA would prevent such outrages by requiring that . . .

  • Each bill must be only one subject.
  • The courts must view any legislation passed in violation of this requirement to be null and void. This makes OSTA uniquely powerful, because most laws and rules that aim to control Congress, including the Constitution, have no enforcement mechanism. But OSTA has an enforcement mechanism!

You can take a big step toward passing OSTA by using the form at right to ask your elected representatives to sponsor this bill.

But there's more. OSTA also has other powerful provisions . . .

Under OSTA politicians will no longer be able to hide the true subjects of their bills behind propagandistic titles such as the "PATRIOT Act," the "Protect America Act," or the "No Child Left Behind Act." No one wants to be accused of voting against patriotism, or protecting America, or of wanting to leave children behind. But none of those titles actually describes the subjects of those bills. Therefore . . .

OSTA requires that all titles describe what a bill will actually do, so that Congress and the public can know what the "one subject" is. Good examples of proper titles include those we have used for our Downsize DC Agenda proposals, which we encourage you to also investigate. In addition to the properly named "One Subject at a Time Act," we also have the "Read the Bills Act," and the "Write the Laws Act."

This is your chance. By using the form at right, you can join with tens of thousands of DC Downsizers to cause real social change. OSTA will . . .

  • Make bills shorter and easier to understand.
  • Replace propagandistic titles with descriptive names.
  • Require that all new laws are favored by a real Congressional majority.
  • Render bills that violate these requirements unenforceable.
  • Restrain the Congressional leadership.
  • Empower your elected officials to represent you responsibly.
  • Make it easier for public pressure — which you can exert through our Educate the Powerful System — to defeat bad bills.

These are the reasons this bill has become popular with people like Ron Paul.

Use the form at right to send your elected representatives a letter about this issue. It's easy! Your position . . .

  • Will be counted by each Congressional office.
  • Will educate the Congressional staffer who reads it.
  • May be passed up the chain of command.
  • May receive a reply (many DC Downsizers get them). If you receive such a letter, please share it with us at Comments@DownsizeDC.org.

Please send your letter now.

You'll gain access to our Educate the Powerful System and our free email newsletter, the Consent Chronicle. I hope you'll decide to join the ranks of DC Downsizers.

What's left to say? Do you wonder how we'll get OSTA passed? The next step depends on what you do now . . .

Many members of Congress will like OSTA, because they dislike voting for packaged bills. But OSTA may not come to their attention unless you send them a letter using the form at right.

Some members of Congress become co-sponsors, because they're hear about the praise other co-sponsors have received. The Downsize DC Army is responsible for this, but the only way you can join the Downsize DC Army is by sending a letter to Congress using the form at right.

Some members of Congress will only do the right thing if they're pressured to do it. You may feel like your voice has no influence. You're wrong. No one snowflake can make an avalanche, but every avalanche is made up of nothing but snowflakes. If you want Congress to feel an avalanche of pressure, then you must be an active snowflake and do your small part. It will only take a few keyboard strokes and mouse clicks using the form at right.

There are many other things we're doing to pass OSTA. But you won't be able to follow them UNLESS you subscribe to the Consent Chronicle. The price for that is sending a letter to Congress using the form at right.

If you want, you can read this very brief bill, here.

Please execute those powerful keyboard strokes and mouseclicks using the form at right!

Jim Babka
President
DownsizeDC.org, Inc.

Use the form at right to send your elected representatives a letter about this issue. It's easy!

  • Your position will be counted by each Congressional office,
  • Will educate the Congressional staffer who reads it,
  • May be passed up the chain of command,
  • May receive a reply (many DC Downsizers get them). If you receive such a letter, please share it with us at Comments@DownsizeDC.org.

Send a letter to Congress

We provide the first few words of the letter so that Congressional offices will see the most important point right at the start, and so that no one can hijack our system for another purpose. Here's the part we provide . . .

I would notice and appreciate your co-sponsorship of the "One Subject at a Time Act" (OSTA), HR 2113 and S 1664.
   
Your ZIP Code is required so we can direct your letter to your representatives in Congress.