We have four bits of exciting news about progress in Congress!
A handful of Representatives just won some major concessions from the new Speaker of the House. Some of those concessions were inspired by the work DC Downsizers have done to promote the Read the Bills Act and the One Subject at a Time Act.
Exciting news #1
First, there must be a 72-hour waiting period to give members a chance to read a bill! This is clearly inspired by our Read the Bills Act. But…
That new requirement does no good if the bills are too long to be read in that amount of time. That brings us to the next bit of good news inspired by your work.
Exciting news #2
All bills will have to be limited to just one subject. This rule will make many of the bills short enough to be read in the allotted time. This change was very clearly inspired by the pressure DC Downsizers have exerted on behalf of the One Subject at a Time Act. But wait…
What good does that do if the House simply waives the one-subject requirement before a crucial vote? Most inconvenient House rules are simply waived by the leadership without any involvement by the members. But now, that will change with regard to the single-subject requirement. Here’s one of the reasons why…
Exciting news #3
The entire House will have to vote to waive the germaneness rule.
These victories demonstrate three points we’ve made repeatedly…
- Public pressure matters
- Most members want a one-subject requirement
- A single-subject rule can make bill-reading more viable by making legislation shorter
But this doesn’t mean our work is done!
First, these are still rules, not laws. They can and probably will be waived from time to time, probably in situations where they are needed the most. Our legislation would prevent this.
Second, there is no enforcement mechanism in mere rules. But our legislation would dictate that such bills cannot be enforced in court.
Third, these rules apply only to the House, not the Senate. Our bills would apply to both chambers.
All of this means there is still work for us to do, even though the news is very encouraging. And this brings us to our next bit of exciting news.
Exciting news #4
We’re working on a deal that will bring vast new resources to Downsize DC!
Because of this, we are delaying the database update. You may find that our site does not reflect changes for the new Congress.
But that does NOT mean that you can’t sign-up to join The 300 for one or more of our bills. In fact, if your representative or Senator is new, please know that…
We will still assign you to the correct representative long before it becomes time to take action.
We can do that because the key information is not today’s database; it’s your residential mailing address.
The One Subject at a Time Act (OSTA) still remains the idea of primary importance, because it can help pave the way for the Read the Bills Act. If you’re not yet a member of The 300 for the OSTA, please sign up today!
Stay tuned; more big news is coming soon.
Set your own agenda,
Jim Babka, President
Agenda Setters by Downsize DC
Today’s Action: Pass the One Subject at a Time Act