Photo of Shawn Mahaney

HVY MTL's Blog

Read the Bill Bill [political]

This will be sent to my rep, and several others, as suggested text for a bill in Congress:

"After a bill before this House is presented to the floor, and before the body votes on passage of said bill, a minimum of three minutes time must elapse per page of said bill, or any existing statute or regulation the bill would modify, when formatted according to the usual publishing rules of this House.  Not more than 6 hours per day from six calendar days per week may be counted toward the elapsed time, nor may any part of statutory Federal holiday.  No bill may be amended during this time.  Amendments to a bill may be presented after the prescribed time has elapsed, but another ten minutes must elapse for each page of each amendment and for each referenced or modified page of the bill or any existing statue or regulation each amendment would modify.  A bill and its amendments may be exempted from the time requirement by a separate 3/4 majority vote in this House."

Three minutes per page... do you think that's enough time to read and digest something dense, and to look up all the other things it might reference or modify?  Remember we're not talking about a linear storybook here - this is law, which as often as not is written "strike the word 'and' from paragraph abc of section 12.34 from article 17 of title XIV...".

United States House resolution 3962 was introduced to the floor with 348,220 words on October 29, 2009.  It passed the House (with 353,828 words!) on November 7, 2009 - nine calendar days later.  Formatted into sections and paragraphs, it came in north of 2200 pages.   By the above rules, it would take three full weeks to read the thing, with another full-time job left doing any proper due diligence on it. 



Post a comment...


Forgot password?

Need an account? Sign up