June 16, 2010
Read the Bills Act: Do they know how ridiculous they look?
By James Wilson

Do you know what Congress does when it's in session? Watch this video to find out:

The video shows just a few of the silly and pointless resolutions Congress wastes time on, instead of doing what it's supposed to do.

* Congress missed its April 15 deadline to pass a budget
* And has the audacity to tell us it doesn't have time to read the bills!

Please tell Congress to re-arrange its priorities and pass the Read the Bills Act.

You may borrow from or copy this letter . . .

You say you don't have time to read the bills. But it's funny what Congress DOES have time for. This year, the House found time to . . .

* Congratulate the University of Maryland Men's Basketball team - BEFORE the NCAA Tournament even began!
* Congratulate the University of Idaho football team for winning a minor bowl game - something that over a dozen other teams also accomplished
* Acknowledge the 217th anniversary of Sam Houston's birth

Even more ridiculous examples are found in this video:

In fact, more than one-third of the House's 336 roll call votes through May were on trivial, non-binding resolutions

* Each vote was usually preceded by two or three speeches in support of the resolution
* Most resolutions would have passed unanimously, or almost unanimously, by voice vote
* Yet time was taken for roll call votes!

You should be embarrassed by Congress's priorities.

* The House and Senate have each passed an average of about 80 pages of legislation for each day in session
* Public readings of these bills would take no longer than two hours per day
* Unlike trivial resolutions, these bills impact my life, my liberty, and my pocketbook
* And yet, no one in Congress reads these bills

You have the time to read the bills.

In fact, it's your JOB to read the bills!

I strongly urge you to do the following . . .

* Do not introduce non-binding resolutions
* Do not make speeches in support of them
* Protest roll call votes of uncontroversial resolutions by voting "present"

And, most importantly, introduce the Read the Bills Act!


You can send your letter through's Educate the Powerful System.

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 29,700 readers
* you will help to promote RTBA

Find out more and join!

Finally, in May the House passed 31 bills totaling 2102 pages, and the Senate passed 39 bills amounting to 2202 pages. You can learn more about these bills in our monthly Congressional report.

Thanks for helping to Downsize DC!

James Wilson
Assistant Communications Director

Filed under Downsizer Dispatch, RTBA
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