January 12, 2010
Read the Bills Act: How you can make Congress work smarter
By James Wilson

Members of Congress say they don't have time to read the bills they pass, but my sample letter to Congress, below, shows otherwise. Please use what I wrote as guide to send your own letter to Congress asking them to pass's Read the Bills Act:

Here it is . . .

Members of Congress often say they don't have time to read the bills you pass, but consider these facts . . .

* Over the past nine years an average of 215 bills became law per year, for a total of about 2,160 pages annually
* A random survey of Congressional Record Daily Digests suggests that the average legislative day is long -- usually over nine hours
* The House was in session, on average, 133 days per year (the Senate's average is more difficult to find, but it's probably similar)

* This means an average of 16 to 17 bill pages became law per session day.

The truth is that you could read three or four times that number of pages and still have plenty of time for debate, amendments, votes, and other business. Yet, few members of Congress ever read any bill that becomes law. This is just plain wrong. Consider . . .

* a lawyer who "doesn't have time" to read the fine print is doing something wrong
* an accountant who "doesn't have time" to look at the numbers is doing something wrong
* a legislature that "doesn't have time" to publicly read the bills is doing something wrong
* and I am responsible for everything you pass -- ignorance of the law is no excuse for me

The failure of Congress to read the bills isn't a problem of time, but rather of process and organization.

This is why I insist that you pass's Read the Bills Act. You will still have plenty of time to pass necessary bills. And, RTBA will force Congress to organize better. It will force you to work smarter by identifying and eliminating time-wasting practices and procedures.

Only a public reading will guarantee that most members of Congress will know the contents of bills. The public reading also brings greater accountability. The number of secret deals and special interest favors Congress passes will fall dramatically, thereby serving the GENERAL welfare. The Read the Bills Act will not only help Congress function better, it will also help the American taxpayer. DO IT!


You can send your message using's Educate the Powerful System.

We also invite you to join the Read the Bills Act Coalition. Membership will help build awareness about RTBA, and in return we will list your site on our main page. You can learn more at the site.

Today we welcome two new members to the Coalition:

And please consider making a donation to further our work.

Jim Babka
President, Inc.

Blog commenting is currently under construction. In the meantime, you can send an email if there's something you'd like to tell us.

What Can We Do For You?

We can help you downsize the federal government, if you want that. All you have to do is join. It's free! In return...

We'll give you an army.

We're recruiting a huge army of supporters to work for what you want.

We'll give you influence.

The Downsize DC Army will exert relentless, resistance-numbing pressure on Congress.

We'll make your voice heard.

We'll use our growing army to make your beliefs heard by everyone, everywhere, every day.

We'll give you winning strategies.

Ideas like our "Read the Bills Act" and the "One Subject at a Time Act" will give you the leverage to win the public debate, control Congress, and Downsize DC!

We'll give you powerful tools.

  • Your free membership includes a subscription to our free email newsletter, the Consent Chronicle, which national talk show host Jerry Hughes calls by far the best newsletter he receives.
  • You'll be able to use our Educate the Powerful SystemSM to pressure Congress. It's easy. All it takes is a few mouse clicks and keyboard strokes. You can do it in your bathrobe while you're drinking your morning coffee, or during a break at work.
  • You'll also gain access to our 16-page strategy document, "The Downsize DC Vision." You'll learn about important insights like "ignoring an axiom," and powerful strategies like "picking off the herd." One reader called this document "the unified field theory" of political change.

To gain these benefits, just enter your email address in the box below and hit Subscribe!

Subscribe to the Consent Chronicle
Enter your email address twice: