Thursday, November 01, 2007

Should Congress Read the Laws They Pass?

If you notice off to the left hand side of this blog, there is a new button posted. I am now a member of the "read the bills" coalition.

What is the "read the bills coalition"? Well, the sad fact is, many bills that congress passes these day are passed without having been read by the members of Congress that vote for them. The Downsize DC foundation is working on advancing a bill which would make it the law requiring that before any bill could be passed, a public reading of the entire bill must be performed, and that before voting on it, each member of congress must sign a sworn affidavit affirming – under penalty of perjury – that they have read, or heard read, the bill to be voted on.

Is this unreasonable? Is it too much to ask that our representatives actually know the content of the laws that they pass? Or is it ok that our elected representatives engage in careless and irresponsible law-making?

Demanding that the members of Congress take the time to know exactly what they are doing is NOT, in my opinion, a very outlandish or absurd request. It is a position that I think people of all political views can get behind. After all, who among us actually desires irresponsible government?

I would encourage everyone to check out the plan, and give your support in some fashion – whether it be to help spread the word, write a letter to you representative, monetary donation, or some other way.

4 Comments:

Blogger David_Z said...

My prediction: They'll nix this bill without reading it.

4:02 PM  
Blogger Brother Theodore said...

In some perverse way I can't blame Congress - bills are insanely long, boring and nearly impossible to understand since they cross reference a thousand other things. They get the "gist" of something and make a decision, much like we do when installing software as an example. Do you read the long license agreement you are agreeing with? Heck no, you just install the software cause you want to use it. Public debate over political ideas is simplified into short phrases or ideas, but the law itself is worded in much more confusing and ambiguous terms. And that seems to be a natural outcome. But most offensive about all this is that the government expects YOU to know the law when their own people don't even know what it is! Hey I fully support congress NOT reading the bills, just as long as I don't have to obey them. Everyone likes to be lazy when it comes to paperwork congress and regular folk alike, so let's make less paperwork. Less bills, less paperwork, less government, everybody wins. Okay, maybe not the people who write this crap, but I figure there's GOTTA be a more fulfilling way to live your life than writing legislation.

10:49 AM  
Anonymous Cimarron said...

I'd be happy if we could get Congress to read and understand the Constitution. Based on the number of blatantly unconstitutional laws Congress has passed over the past 15 years, I don't think most of them have ever read it. Like the software license terms and conditions, they just raised their hands and swore to support and defend the Constitution with no conception of what it actually says.

3:07 PM  
Anonymous Mark A. Adams JD/MBA said...

If our "elected" representatives do not want to read the bills before they pass them, then maybe it's time to throw the incumbents out!

4:35 PM  

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