January 27, 2014
What Congress hid in the spending bill
By James Wilson

Congress passed an outrageous "omnibus spending bill on January 16. It prompted me to tell my Rep and Senators to sponsor the Read the Bills Act using's campaign.

I invite you to do the same.

The hardwired message says…

Co-sponsor the Read the Bills Act (S.1665).

.You may borrow from or copy this letter…

You were given just 44 hours to read the omnibus spending bill's 1,524 pages.

I know no member of Congress did that. And that was intentional. You expect to be escaped from blame for anything the bill contains. But I blame every member of Congress who passed any bill they haven;t read.

In this case, the result is billions spent to benefit cronies, including (

* hundreds of millions for health research to be conducted by the DEFENSE Department
* billions for weapons programs the Pentagon didn't ask for
* hundreds of millions on nuclear and fossil fuel subsidies the Dept. of Energy never requested.

And there's $5.8 billion MORE in Afghanistan war spending, even though troop strength was cut in half over the past year. (

Worst of all, you CUT $8 million in funding for a base-closing commission that could have saved taxpayers billions in the years ahead.

By passing this bill, members of Congress…

* FAILED to represent their constituents, and…
* managed to WASTE our money.

This wasn't necessary. You could have passed another "continuing resolution" to fund the "government" another two or three weeks while you and the public read the bill and DEBATED its priorities. Had you done that the corrupt provisions described above, and others like them, could have been exposed and removed.

Instead, you preferred "business as usual."


Fix this. Co-sponsor S.1665 in the Senate, or introduce it in the House. This bill would require a seven-day waiting period before a final vote for passage. It would also encourage you to write shorter, simpler bills.

Represent me. Support the Read the Bills Act!

I’ll be watching what you do.


Send 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. Ask them to take the same action.

Also, it may interest you that in 2013, the Senate passed 100 bills coming to 3,870 pages, and the House passed 217 bills coming to 6,781 pages of legislation. You can see the details on our blog.

James Wilson
Policy Research Director

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