Wednesday, July 1, 2009

A Matter of Honor

The overwhelming majority of Americans agree that Congress should read the bills they pass. Our mission is to tell them about's Read the Bills Act (RTBA). If we overwhelm Congress with demands to pass RTBA, Congress will have no choice but to follow our orders.

Directly inspired by, California businessman Jerrol LeBaron has the idea that his state legislators should also be required to read the bills. One advantage in California is he doesn't have to pressure the State Assembly and Senate -- he can go directly to the people. Through California's initiative-and-referendum process, LeBaron intends to put California's own version of a Read the Bills Act on the ballot for voters to pass. LeBaron has created Honor in Office to accomplish this.

It is gratifying to see DC Downsizer ideas spread through the country. Success in California will inspire movements in other states and hasten success at the federal level. As the name of the California group suggests, reading the bills really is a matter of honor. An elected legislator really has no other job but to understand what he or she is doing to the people. Otherwise, why have elected representatives at all?

Yet, over the past three weeks, the House and Senate combined to pass 50 bills totaling 2,904 pages. These bills were not read on the floor. They weren't read by members in their personal time. Most weren't even read in committee.

(To see the list of bills passed, see below my signature.)

Let's tell Congress that the RTBA movement isn't going away. Tell them it is actually spreading to the states. Tell them if they don't introduce and pass RTBA, their very honor is open to question. You can send your message using our easy-to-use Educate the Powerful System.

We urge you to help spread the word about RTBA by adding your website or blog to the Read the Bills Act Coalition. This is an effortless way to spread the word about RTBA, and in exchange your site will be listed on our blog and mentioned in a Dispatch like this. Details are here.

Source: DownsizeDC.Org


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