Monday, January 12, 2009

A Splinter In Their Side

Since I'm not significant enough to my United States Congresspeople (Representative Roy Blunt, Senator Kit Bond, and Senator Claire McCaskill), I can only consider myself a splinter, not a thorn. Even though I'm small, I'm working to make sure they hear my point of view. Today's Dispatch - "What Cokie Said" - involved the House Minority Leader speaking truth. He spoke of one of the aims of the Read The Bills Act, namely, that the "stimulus" bill should be made available in its final form online for seven days before it is voted upon.

I hope this is significant, and not just partisan power brokering, but time will tell. After reading the entire dispatch, I was inspired to write my Congresspeople. Three times. I wrote to them about:

The Read The Bills Act (RTBA) -

Congress needs to start reading the laws it passes. Please introduce DownsizeDC.org's "Read the Bills Act." I know you have the power to introduce this legislation on your own, without waiting for anyone else. I urge you to do so. This is a much-needed, common sense reform. I can see no justification for not introducing it. I'm telling my friends about it, and I look forward to hearing that you've introduced it. You can find the text of the legislation here: http://www.downsizedc.org/rtba_legislation.shtml

"I would ask the Democratic leadership to guarantee that such a bill will not be brought to the floor of the House unless there have been public hearings in the appropriate committees, the entire text has been available online for the American people to review for at least one week, and it includes no special-interest earmarks." -- House Minority Leader John Boehner, R-Ohio.

You should be familiar with the concept of making the text of bills available online for at least seven days. I've been writing to you repeatedly asking you to pass the Read The Bills Act (RTBA). The RTBA includes that provision and more which would lay the groundwork for restoring accountability and trust in the Congress by the people of the United States. Since the level of trust has been the lowest since the ratings have been recorded (9% approval rating) lately, I'd think that you wanted to help stand for something honest and genuine to regain some of it.

Let's try to hold Obama to his promises of change and consider this statement:
"I think the notion of a stimulus package online for a week before its voted on is just delightful. I mean, these bills are normally written in the dead of night with all kinds of things getting in them. ... Any big bill, I mean nobody usually knows what's in it at all when they're voting on it. That would be real change." -- Cokie Roberts, "This Week" roundtable on ABC, January 4, 2009 (-8:35 mark)

The RTBA would be REAL change, and change that shouldn't be partisan.

Mr. Jeremy Young


Then I got a little wordy and talked to them about the Enumerated Powers Act -

Please bring John Shadegg's 'Enumerated Powers Act' (HR 1359) to a vote as soon as possible, and please do all you can to support the passage of this bill.

While Congress, the President, the President Elect, and the Federal Reserve are running around demanding that things get done fast, let's not forget that there are only a few things that Congress can do according to the restrictions placed upon it by the Constitution of the United States of America.

I urge you to consider whether you have the Constitutional authority to enact the stimulus package that is being debated. Consider the Enumerated Powers Act, and pass this important reminder of the restrictions the Constitution placed upon you to protect We The People.

Mr. Jeremy Young


Finally, I just got down right annoying and sent them another note about the One Subject at a Time Act -

Please introduce DownsizeDC.org's "One Subject at a Time Act" (OSTA). You can find the text of the legislation here: http://www.downsizedc.org/osta-legislation.shtml

OSTA would be a marvelous precursor to this "Stimulus" package that everyone is debating. It would require the bill to only contain language that pertains to One Subject. Grouped with the Read The Bills Act, and the Enumerated Powers Act, it would make the "Stimulus" easy for most Americans to understand. It would be much smaller, and would be much easier to debate and bring to a vote.

Enough is enough already. Stop voting for bills that are loaded down with rider after rider that are completely unrelated to the title of the bill. Quit spending OUR MONEY to buy votes from your opposition. If a bill isn't good enough to be passed on its own, then don't pass it at all.

Mr. Jeremy Young


At least I know their staff can't claim to not know who I am or what I'm going on about. I doubt that any of the three take time to read even the subjects of their emails.

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