July 5, 2013
They didn’t read the immigration bill
By James Wilson


I just sent a letter to Congress using’s Read the Bills Act Campaign.

The hardwired message for this campaign reads . . .

Please introduce Downsize DC's Read the Bills Act, sponsored in the last Congress by Rand Paul (S. 3360).

You can borrow what I wrote to send your own comments to Congress...

The current Read the Bills Act offered by Rep. Kerry Bentivolio (HR 1831) doesn’t go far enough.


Because it removes the requirement, in Rand Paul’s bill, that each bill must be read aloud before a majority in each chamber.

The Senate’s DISGRACEFUL behavior in passing the Immigration Reform bill shows why Congress needs this requirement. As Andrew McCarthy notes (

* On Friday, June 21 Sens. Corker and Hoeven introduced a 1,200- page “amendment” to completely replace the bill the Senate was considering.
* This amended bill contained 100 inserted pages of buy-offs and pot-sweeteners, BRIBING more Senators to support it.

The result? As Gabe Grand points out (

* Aside from a few high-profile provisions, much of the bill is murky.
* Law enforcement, immigrants, and employers won’t understand the law.


The House should rebuke the Senate by passing the Read the Bills Act.

Among other benefits...

* Congress will introduce shorter, simpler bills instead of 1,000-page monstrosities.
* The public will have a full week to read the bills online and comment before you vote.
* Everyone will be more likely to actually UNDERSTAND what’s being proposed.

You lose legitimacy when you pass bills you haven’t read and can’t possibly understand.

And so...

Pass the Read the Bills Act... WITH the quorum reading requirement!


You can share your letter using’s Educate the Powerful System.

You will receive a copy of your letter to Congress via email. Please share your letter with friends and ask them to take the same action.

James Wilson is Policy Research Director for

Filed under Checks & Balances, RTBA
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