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December 6, 2010

Read the Bills Act and Food Safety: What Happens When Your Senators Don’t Read the Bill

A funny thing happened on the way to the “food safety” bill’s passage. As the letter below says, Senators violated a provision of the Constitution when they passed their version (S.510), and House leaders will not accept this violation.

Meanwhile, all 42 Senate Republicans have vowed to filibuster ALL legislation unless bills to fund the government and to prevent the New Years Day tax increase are considered first.

We are pleased with this development, because it makes final passage of the dangerous “food safety” bill much more difficult.

But it should also be pointed out that if DownsizeDC.org’s Read the Bills Act (RTBA) had been in force, the Senate would not have made this mistake. And so we’re asking you to tell Congress to introduce and pass the Read the Bills Act.

You may borrow from or copy this letter . . .

The “food safety” bill that passed the Senate, S.510, is further proof that we need the Read the Bills Act (RTBA). S.510 includes new taxes, whereas the Constitution requires all tax bills to originate in the House.
 
This means the 73 Senators who voted for it either . . .

* Knowingly violated their oath of office to support the Constitution, or . . .
* They didn’t read the bill!

The Read the Bills Act (RTBA) would have prevented this . . .

* It requires all bills that come to a vote to be read before a quorum in each chamber
* It also requires that they be posted online, in their final form, seven days before a final vote

If the RTBA was in force, surely many people would have caught this mistake BEFORE the bill’s passage.

If you take your oath of office seriously, you wouldn’t knowingly pass a bill that clearly violates the Constitution. The RTBA would prevent that from happening. I therefore expect you to introduce this bill soon.

END LETTER

You may send your letter using DownsizeDC.org’s Educate the Powerful System.

We also invite you to add your blog or website to the Read the Bills Act Coalition. By joining, you help spread the word about the RTBA, and in return we will list your site on our blog and announce it in a Downsizer-Dispatch reaching over 30,800 readers. You may learn more and join here.

This month we welcome Live Free Radio to the coalition.

Finally, in November the House passed 22 bills totaling 426 pages, and the Senate passed 13 bills totaling 598 pages. You can see summaries of these bills on our blog.

James Wilson
Assistant Communications Director
DownsizeDC.org

If your comment is off-topic for this post, please email us at feedback@downsizedc.org

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