Editor’s note: Many of you may already know that the Constitution was read in the House for the first time ever at the beginning of this session. While that’s a read start, they got it wrong. Yes, they read the Constitution wrong. Here’s a letter you can use to point out that fact, and to ask that they adopt the full Read the Bills Act to help prevent further misunderstandings.
I would like to applaud the fact that the Constitution was read in the House of Representatives last week. But instead I must CONDEMN the fact that most House members didn’t stick around to HEAR the reading.
What good does it do to read something if the people who need the information aren’t there to HEAR IT!
And you guys desperately DO NEED TO KNOW what the Constitution says. That way perhaps one of you would have noticed immediately that a whole page was being skipped during the reading.
After this display of incompetence do you really expect me to have confidence when you assert the right and the power to do more complicated things?
Needless to say, I have no confidence in the House’s new “read the bill” rule. I do NOT believe that any member of the House will use the 3-day waiting period that rule requires to do any reading of any legislation. Most of you couldn’t even sit still to hear the Constitution read!
This is why I will continue to pressure you to pass DownsizeDC.org’s “Read the Bills Act.” THAT would be a real reform because it requires . . .
- A quorum to be present while every word of every bill is read
- You to sign an affidavit that you have read, or heard read, every word of the bill before you cast an affirmative vote
- That courts hold citizens blameless against any legislation passed in violation of these requirements
Please, quit with the meaningless symbolism. Be responsible for a change. Do something real. Introduce DownsizeDC.org’s “Read the Bills Act.”
Jim Babka, President