Since those in Congress continually pass legislation that they themselves have not read but have been “briefed” on by their staff, the Read the Bills Act (RTBA) was drafted by the folks at Downsize DC to end this practice. When our elected officials do not read the legislation they are voting on they are in essence misrepresenting their constituents who voted for them to represent them in Washington or as the drafters of the RTBA state “Legislation without representation.” A significant impact this act will have on Congress is the slowing down of “pork” projects and secret clauses will be inserted into bills at the last moment.
RTBA requires that . . .
Each bill, and every amendment, must be read in its entirety before a quorum in both the House and Senate.
Every member of the House and Senate must sign a sworn affidavit, under penalty of perjury, that he or she has attentively either personally read, or heard read, the complete bill to be voted on.
Every old law coming up for renewal under the sunset provisions must also be read according to the same rules that apply to new bills.
Every bill to be voted on must be published on the Internet at least 7 days before a vote, and Congress must give public notice of the date when a vote will be held on that bill.
Passage of a bill that does not abide by these provisions will render the measure null and void, and establish grounds for the law to be challenged in court.
Congress cannot waive these requirements.
The RTBA and the Downsize DC org are mounting a vigorous campaign to get Congress to pass this act and are looking for your support, please click on the RTBA banner to learn more. We elect people to Congress to represent us in passing laws, it is common sense that they should actually read the laws they pass. I will be posting status updates on the RTBA and digging deeper into the impacts of voting on Legislation that hasn’t been read as well as how the RTBA will effect Congress in how it does business.