June 6, 2008
Unrelated bills rolled into one
By James Wilson
Today's Downsizer-Dispatch . . . Media notice: Tune-in to hear Jim Babka on the Jerry Hughes show today. Details below my signature.

Quote of the Day:

"The United States is a nation of laws: badly written and randomly enforced." - Frank Zappa

Subject: Unrelated bills rolled into one

H.R. 2642 was introduced in June, 2007 to finance military construction and Veterans Affairs. Since then, Congress has added 230 pages of amendments to what was once a 50-page bill. Among the additions is the "Iraq Supplemental" to fund the the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.

H.R. 2642 is bad, but it could have been worse . . .

Two weeks ago, the Senate Appropriations Committee voted to add a 100-page amendment granting amnesty to over a million illegal immigrant farm workers. However, Democrat Sen. Robert Menendez raised a point of order against the amendment, and Majority Leader Harry Reid agreed to remove it.

Perhaps they remembered the backlash when Congress added the REAL ID Act to the Iraq Supplemental in 2005. Perhaps they're feeling pressure to pass the One Subject At A Time Act (OSTA) and know that adding an unpopular amnesty bill into the Iraq Supplemental would only intensify calls to pass OSTA.

In any case, H.R. 2642 still contains numerous unrelated provisions:

  • "Emergency" funds for the FBI, BAFTE, DEA, Bureau of Prisons, and many other federal agencies
  • Additional funds for Katrina recovery and other disaster relief
  • A waiver of certain sanctions against North Korea
  • A study on the effect of the minimum wage on the Northern Mariana Islands
  • A law against unemployment insurance fraud
  • A requirement for states to implement an "asset verification program" for individuals seeking medical assistance
  • And dozens of other provisions unrelated to Defense or Veterans Affairs.
Congress normally passes several short, one-subject bills every week, so why couldn't they have voted on the above provisions as separate bills too? Possible answers include . . .

1. The provisions couldn't pass if voted on separately
2. Congress didn't want to give them due consideration

Sadly, all these unrelated provisions add up. According to Washington Watch, H.R. 2642 is going to cost the average American family almost $1,700.

Tell Congress they were right to pull amnesty out of the Iraq Supplemental. But tell them they shouldn't throw so many unrelated laws and spending programs into one bill. Tell them this undermines America's faith in Congress and is costly to taxpayers. Tell them to strip H.R. 2642 down to one subject, or vote against it. And tell them to pass Downsize DC's One Subject At A Time Act. You can do so here.

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Thank-you for being a DC Downsizer.

James Wilson
Assistant to the President

P.S. Friday afternoon appearance on Straight Talk with Jerry Hughes . . .

Downsize DC President Jim Babka's hour-long appearance begins at 3:05 PM Eastern time (2:05 PM Central, 1:05 PM Mountain, 12:05 PM Pacific). To listen online go to ""

They'll be talking about the Real ID Act and who knows what else. But it'll be even better if you call and participate.

The toll-free call-in number: 1-866-222-2368
Or use email: Jerry at AccentRadio dot com

* As always, regarding media appearances, schedule changes or cancellations can happen without warning.
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