When Congress writes lengthy, complex bills…

D o w n s i z e r – D i s p a t c h

The 2,000-page healthcare bills before Congress underscore the importance of the Read the Bills Act (RTBA).

Let’s continue to pressure Congress to pass it.

Feel free to borrow from or copy my letter . . .

James Madison, Father of the Constitution, wrote in Federalist 62: ““It will be of little avail to the people that the laws be made by men of their own choice, if the laws be so voluminous that they cannot be read, or so incoherent that they cannot be understood.” http://www.constitution.org/fed/federa62.htm

Madison was right. What’s the point in electing members of Congress at all, if they don’t even understand the bills they pass?

Some say that RTBA is “impractical” in our modern, complex economy. But it’s only impractical if Congress’s goal is to pass as much legislation as possible. But Congress’s purpose should be to protect our lives and liberty under the Constitution, which would actually mean less legislation, not more.

It is the very complexity of our society that makes Congress unqualified to regulate every aspect of it. While passing laws against force and fraud is an appropriate role of government, Congress simply doesn’t have the knowledge or expertise to competently impose sweeping regulations of every industry.

As economist Dr. Gary wolfram points out regarding the healthcare bill before the Senate . . . http://www.humanevents.com/article.php?id=34582

  • any 2,000-page bill is going to have unintended consequences
  • no Senator will read or understand it all
  • it will be years before anyone can fully understand the repercussions

Because of this, the healthcare bill will create economic uncertainty, which discourages business expansion and economic growth. In addition, it will force businesses to spend more on lawyers, accountants, and other compliance costs – and these increased expenses mean higher prices for you and me.

In contrast, the requirements of the Read the Bills Act will actually lead to practical results . . .

  • it will not obstruct passage of necessary, Constitutional legislation
  • by requiring that bills be read before a quorum in Congress, Congress will be more selective on what bills will be worth pursuing
  • the bills Congress does consider will be shorter
  • those who vote for a bill will be required to sign an affidavit affirming they have read and understood it, which will mean bills will be written more clearly
  • by requiring the posting online of these shorter, clearer bills, the people will be able to make better-informed opinions on them

James Madison had it right. Representative government is to no avail if Congress passes lengthy and incoherent laws. Please introduce the Read the Bills Act before you pass any healthcare reform bill.


Please send your message using DownsizeDC.org’s Educate the Powerful System. https://secure.downsizedc.org/etp/campaigns/27

We also invite you to add your website or blog to the Read the Bills Act Coalition. Membership will help build awareness about RTBA, and in return we will list your site on our main page. You can learn more at the DownsizeDC.org site: http://www.downsizedc.org/coalition

Today we welcome 1 new member to the Coalition:

Finally, in November the House and Senate passed a total of 55 bills amounting to 2,988 pages. You can see what bills were passed below my signature in the blog version of this Dispatch: http://www.downsizedc.org/blog/read-the-bills-and-healthcare-when-congress-writes-lengthy-complex-bills

James Wilson

Assistant Communications Director


D o w n s i z e r – D i s p a t c h

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