It happens constantly. A crisis strikes, and then . . .
* Congressional leaders respond with a complicated bill
* The bill is hundreds or thousands of pages long
* It will transform the country
* Congressional leaders rush to a vote, but no one in Congress has read what they're passing . . .
* Only later do we learn all the terrible things the bill contained, many of which will pave the way for the next crisis
From the so-called Patriot Act to Obamacare, with may other bad examples in between, Congress has become addicted to passing lengthy, unread bills. They're doing it again now!
The Senate is debating a lengthy and convoluted financial "reform" bill. But no one has read it -- probably not even its sponsors!
Can you stop them from passing this bill without reading it? Probably not. You don't have enough allies yet, but . . .
You can make Congress nervous about its irresponsible conduct. Send Congress a letter ordering them to . . .
* introduce and pass the Read the Bills Act
* hold no vote on the financial "reform" bill unless it is first read, word for word, before a quorum in both chambers
* defeat the bill when a vote is held
You may borrow or copy from this letter . . .
The financial "reform" bill is just the latest in a series of lengthy bills that underscore the need for the Read the Bills Act. This bill is scary enough as it is . . .
* it's already over 1,400 pages
* it stacks the deck in favor of Citigroup and Goldman Sachs, who have endorsed the bill http://tinyurl.com/335vb74
* it places onerous new regulations on community banks and retailers who had nothing to do with the financial crisis, meaning . . .
* many small business will fold and consumers will face higher prices and fewer choices
But what's worse, we don't know what back-room deals are being made. Will . . .
* there be even more special-interest favors?
* the Senate agree to giving the FTC unlimited power to regulate everything from vitamins to the Internet?
* the public have the opportunity to know what's in the bill before it's passed?
I demand that you do the following . . .
* Ask for a reading of the bill, before a quorum
* Insist that every amendment also be read publicly in the same way
* Hold off on the final vote of the bill for seven days, so that we the people can read it on the Internet and give you our opinion
* Most importantly, introduce DownsizeDC.org's Read the Bills Act so that we can have a more transparent process in the future
We also urge you to add your blog or website to the Read the Bills Act Coalition. Membership means . . .
* your site will be listed in the RTBA coalition roster on our blog
* your site will be mentioned in a Downsizer-Dispatch like this, reaching over 29,600 readers
* you will help to promote RTBA
Finally, in April the House passed 24 bills totaling 415 pages, and the Senate passed 8 bills amounting to 40 pages. You can learn more about these bills in our monthly Congressional report.
Thanks for helping to Downsize DC!