Here’s a novel idea I stumbled upon yesterday. It’s a website proposing an idea for a bill that they title the Read the Bills Act. The idea of the bill is simple, require every bill and amendment to be read aloud before the Senate and House can vote on it:
- Each bill, and every amendment, must be read in its entirety before a quorum in both the House and Senate.
- Every member of the House and Senate must sign a sworn affidavit, under penalty of perjury, that he or she has attentively either personally read, or heard read, the complete bill to be voted on.
- Every old law coming up for renewal under the sunset provisions must also be read according to the same rules that apply to new bills.
- Every bill to be voted on must be published on the Internet at least 7 days before a vote, and Congress must give public notice of the date when a vote will be held on that bill.
- Passage of a bill that does not abide by these provisions will render the measure null and void, and establish grounds for the law to be challenged in court.
- Congress cannot waive these requirements.
Novel concept huh? Just imagine our representatives having to actually read bills and amendments before they pass them. Just thinking about how much this would slow down Congress makes me love this idea. Of course if introduced to the floor it would never pass since it would require those voting on it to do real work in the future (then again they may no actually read it and vote it through anyways, that would be irony).