Read the Bills Act of 2005 (RTBA)

While I am certainly far from being a Libertarian I have to give credit where credit is due. The organization DownsizeDC has put together a draft piece of legislation that makes damn good sense. It is called the Read the Bills Act of 2005 (RTBA) and the purpose is fundamental:

We hold this truth to be self-evident, that those in Congress who vote on legislation they have not read, have not represented their constituents. They have misrepresented them.

And since Congress has repeatedly committed “legislation without representation,” strong measures to prohibit these Congressional misrepresentations are both justified and required.

To this end we have created the “Read the Bills Act of 2005 (RTBA).” RTBA requires that . . .

  • 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.

Read the full text of this draft legislation here and spread the word.

Hat tip to Steve.

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