Legislative Quality Control

How do you view government?

It appears that, with quasi-religious reverence, most people view government as their master. The result? Politicians get away with anything.

Is government your master?

What if, instead, you viewed government as a service? Service providers give employees rules and procedures to follow so that customers, like you, are satisfied.

Shouldn't government be held to the same standard?

Shouldn't we have legislative quality control?

Or would you rather be …

  • Arrested based on a law so obscure even Congress didn't read it?
  • Taxed to fund a project almost nobody in Congress even wanted?
  • Harassed by bureaucrats enforcing absurd regulations no one in Congress ever reviewed?

There are three bills introduced in Congress to ensure Legislative Quality Control: the Read the Bills Act, the One Subject at a Time Act, and the Write the Laws Act.

The Read the Bills Act (RTBA) …

  • Requires a word for word reading of each bill, before a quorum of each chamber of Congress.
  • Mandates that each member of the House or Senate that voted for a bill sign an affidavit that he or she has read, or heard read, the bill and understands it.

This will …

  • Prevent the creation of long, dense bills.
  • And hold members of Congress accountable for their votes.

More information is available at DownsizeDC.org's RTBA campaign.

And you can read the bill here.

The One Subject at a Time Act (OSTA) … requires that all bills be of the same subject, reflected in the title. This would …

  • Stop Congressional leaders from passing unwanted laws by attaching them to popular, but unrelated, bills.
  • Give you expanded influence by making bad legislation more vulnerable to public opposition.
  • Make it easier for your elected officials to represent you by allowing them to vote on specific proposals, instead of on groups of bills containing divergent measures.
  • Create a de facto "line item veto" by putting only one measure under the President's pen at any one time.

More information is available at DownsizeDC.org's OSTA campaign.

Read the bill here.

The Write the Laws Act mandates that any rules that citizens must obey must be passed by Congress, with no details left to bureaucratic creativity. This would …

  • Restore Constitutional checks and balances because it requires that only Congress can pass laws binding on you and me.
  • Save individuals and businesses from fear of new rules from federal agencies.

More information is available at DownsizeDC.org's WTLA campaign.

And you can read the bill here.

Can you imagine why a member of Congress, or someone who aspires to be in Congress, would oppose these bills?

Shouldn't laws be passed for our protection and benefit rather than their power and profit?

Isn't honesty and transparency in government a good thing?

If you view Congress as your "servants" or service-providers, tell them to pass these bills!

Use the form at right to send your elected representatives a letter about this issue. It's easy!

  • Your position will be counted by each Congressional office,
  • Will educate the Congressional staffer who reads it,
  • May be passed up the chain of command,
  • May receive a reply (many DC Downsizers get them). If you receive such a letter, please share it with us at Comments@DownsizeDC.org.

Send a letter to Congress

We provide the first few words of the letter so that Congressional offices will see the most important point right at the start, and so that no one can hijack our system for another purpose. Here's the part we provide . . .

I want legislative quality control. Introduce or co-sponsor, as appropriate, DownsizeDC.org's Read the Bills Act (S. 3360), One Subject at a Time Act (HR 3806 & S. 3359), and the Write the Laws Act (S. 3361). You can learn more at http://www.downsizedc.org/etp/litmus/.
Your ZIP Code is required so we can direct your letter to your representatives in Congress.