Jim Babka, host of the radio show on which I was a frequent guest, is also the co-founder and president of the DownsizeDC Foundation (along with Perry Willis, a frequent commenter here, and Harry Browne, former libertarian candidate for President). DownsizeDC is currently working to pass a law called the Read The Bills Act, which would require legislators to have read every page of every bill before a vote is taken in the House and Senate. I think this is a great idea.
DownsizeDC points out that Congress often passes mammoth bills running thousands of pages when there isn’t even a final printed text available before it’s voted on, that they often hide unpopular items deep in the middle of a much larger bill that is popular and even necessary to keep the government running, and that many items are deleted and added in secret. The solution: require that the bill be read outloud in front of a quorum of both houses of Congress before a vote can be held and require that every member of the Congress sign an affidavit saying that they have read, or heard read, every item in the bill.
I suggested to Jim yesterday that, solely for the purpose of maximum irony, they should have a legislator insert this provision into the back of a defense appropriations bill where no one will notice it. In reallty, however, we must put pressure on our legislators to pass this bill. I urge you all to click here and add your voice. Let’s flood the Congress with letters and emails calling on them to pass it and to stop playing games with our tax dollars.