Advice for the incoming House of Representatives–Part 1–New House bills

Ancient Rome declined because it had a Senate, now what’s going to happen to us with both a House and a Senate?
Will Rogers

Number one: for all new house bills, KISS. For those unfamiliar with the acronym, it stands for (K)eep (I)t (S)imple (S)tupid. Write bills in common English. If it is so complex that a high school graduate cannot understand it, simplify it. For perfect examples of how to write bills, look at the original Constitution. (The only people who think the Constitution is complex are Constitutional scholars and Supreme Court Justices, for all others, the framers’ intent is pretty clear).The only use for legalese in a bill is to confuse the electorate so they do not realize how bad it is. (see Obamacare). Do not use it. Make sure other representatives and your constituents can understand it.

Number two: create only single-subject bills. There is never any need to mix a tax bill, with a student loan bill, with a healthcare bill, with etc. (again, see Obamacare). Many single-subject bills are better than one unreadable conglomerate.

Number three: Keep bills short, much easier to do when working with a single-subject bill. If a bill becomes too complex or too long, split it into two or more simple bills.

Number four: No earmarks! Ever! Politicians seem to feel that earmarks are free money. Wrong! It only spreads the cost of a state project over all fifty states. Why would taxpayers in Missouri want to help pay for a bridge to nowhere in Alaska? Why would taxpayers in New York want to pay for repairs to the St. Louis Arch? Pork-barrel politicians are betting that they can bring more money home to their states than their constituents will have to pay out for pork in other states. The worst aspect of pork is the quid pro quo. A representative voting for a bad bill, with another state’s pork attached to it, resulting in a payback vote on another bad bill with more pork attached to it is not only wrong, it is stupid. The continued practice will result in one-term representatives (note to Blunt).

Number five: When writing a new bill, never refer to or amend old bills. Review all the old bills on the same subject, because even the worst bills usually have some good parts, consolidate those parts in the new bill and make needed improvements; then revoke the old bills so no continuing funding goes to them. This action also defunds old pork projects.

Number six: All bills should reflect the will of the people who elected you, and should pertain to all citizens equally.

Number seven: Never, ever exempt yourself, your family or your staff from the laws your write. The bills should reflect evenly on all American citizens (see number six, above).

Number eight: Read all bills before voting on them. YOU WILL BE HELD RESPONSIBLE for your votes. The days of indifference are gone.

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Published in: on November 17, 2010 at 4:53 pm  Leave a Comment  
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