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May 20, 2011

Introducing the NEW “Read the Bills Act”

Quote of the Day: “A constitution is not the act of a government, but of a people constituting a government; and government without a constitution is power without a right. All power exercised over a nation, must have some beginning. It must be either delegated, or assumed. There are not other sources. All delegated power is trust, and all assumed power is usurpation. Time does not alter the nature and quality of either.”Thomas Paine (1737-1809)

A few months ago we announced pledges from two members of the House, and one Senator, Rand Paul, to introduce our Downsize DC Agenda bills — “Read the Bills,” “Write the Laws,” and “One Subject at a Time.” We told you we needed to do the following . . .

 * Make sure our own bills comply with the requirements in those bills — for instance, make sure they deal with only one subject
 * Comply with the Enumerated Powers Act, which we were promoting, and which is now a rule in the House 
 * Make sure our bills would survive review by the Congressional Legislative Counsel, which provides the final text of all legislation introduced in Congress

While we were at it, we also thought we’d look for opportunities to improve the bills, if possible, and we found a few.

Thank you to everyone who contributed to pay for this legal work. The project turned out to be extensive, taking months, squeezed in between other priorities. But we’re now happy to announce that the work is done, and we’re moving forward with getting these bills introduced.

We’ll be showing you the results of this work in stages, starting today, with the NEW “Read the Bills Act” (RTBA). The new RTBA . . .

 * Lists the Constitutional provisions that authorize it, in compliance with the Enumerated Powers rule
 * Has improved findings — these are the statements of fact that justify the legislation
 * Places one new restriction on Congress — forcing them to give the public advance notice of when a vote is scheduled, which will thwart legislation by surprise, and further protect the public’s opportunity to read each bill
 * Improves the ability of citizens to defend themselves against “laws” passed in violation of RTBA

We’ve also improved the campaign itself, tightening the text that explains the bill on our website.

In the days and weeks ahead we’ll also be rolling out the new and improved versions of the “One Subject at a Time Act,” and the “Write the Laws Act.” In the meantime . . .

Please send a letter to your elected representatives asking them to sponsor the “Read the Bills Act.”

The hardwired message for this campaign reads . . .

Please introduce DownsizeDC.org’s “Read the Bills Act.” You can find the legislative text here: https://secure.downsizedc.org/files/rtba-2011.pdf

I added the following personal comments to my letter to Congress, from which you may borrow if you wish . . .

I understand that two House members and Senator Rand Paul have committed to introduce this legislation. I want to hear that my representatives are going to co-sponsor this bill too. Please let me know.

If ignorance of the law is no excuse for me, neither should it be permitted for you. If I must obey and pay for every word of every law you pass, then you MUST be required to read each one of those words before you can cast an affirmative vote. This is irrefutable common sense. Show me you agree by contacting DownsizeDC.org, to become a co-sponsor of this legislation. Please tell me you have done this so I can BRAG ABOUT YOU to other voters in our district.

END LETTER

Please also consider making a contribution, or starting a monthly pledge using the contribution form that appears after you send your letter to Congress. We must prepare to pay for an EXPENSIVE publicity campaign when our bills are formally introduced in Congress, and as of today we have NO budget for this. Your support will give us momentum, determining how much public credit your Downsize DC gets for these bills, as well as how many sponsors we’re able to get.

Jim Babka
President
DownsizeDC.org, Inc.

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