The Help John Conyers Read The Damn Bill Act of 2009
By: J.J. Jackson
Democrat Representative John Conyers, husband of the corrupt and convicted former Detroit councilwoman Monica Conyers, has actually said something that makes sense.
Democrat Representative John Conyers, husband of the corrupt and convicted former Detroit councilwoman Monica Conyers, has actually said something that makes sense. It is a rare moment indeed for the often bumbling Congressman who I suspect on more than one occasion has had trouble dressing himself because someone wrote “left” on his right shoe, replaced the Velcro with actual laces that needed tied and moved his shirt to where his pants usually are hung while moving his pants to the location usually reserved for his shirt. The man just strikes me as that incompetent. But then again, he is a Congressman and I have to keep reminding myself that expecting intelligence from a career politician is like expecting to come home and finding my dog reading Plato’s “Republic” and sipping Cognac.
But hey, even a nut finds a blind squirrel every now and again as the saying goes.
Mr. Conyers, in a rare moment of lucidity, remarked regarding the current monstrosity of a health care bill currently being rammed through the House by Speaker Nancy Pelosi and the President Barack Obama, “What good is reading the bill if it’s a thousand pages and you don’t have two days and two lawyers to find out what it means after you read the bill?” Whether he was making an excuse to not read the bill before voting in favor of it or seriously challenging the culture of insanity that currently presides in Washington is anyone’s guess. I would ask, but shortly after making this statement Mr. Conyers probably became too busy sniffing butts to say hello to others in attendance at the National Pres Club to be bothered.
But I do feel for Mr. Conyers. I indeed feel his pain. And its not a “feel his pain” in a Bill Clinton, how can I use this to my advantage to screw you over kind of way either. Rather I “feel his pain” in a way that only someone that has tried to read the mumbo jumbo, rambling monstrosities that Congress calls bills, filled with so much double speak and legalese that it would take a team of lawyers just to translate one sentence much less the entire thing, could have.
For years I have said that nearly everything that Congress proposes is far too big and complex. Not to mention, these proposals are more often than not unconstitutional as well. These people we elect to represent us compile their master plans into voluminous tomes and expect that everyone should be able to understand them perfectly. Of course we are all familiar with the popular example of the U.S. Tax Code and the fact that year after year people run little experiments where they ask the same question of several different official IRS employees and get wildly different answers.
Most of these laws that they pass are never read by the persons we elect to represent us. Let’s face facts. It is a shame that they would shirk their responsibilities so blatantly and at best have members of their staff read the bills and give them summaries. The reason that many of these bills are not read by our representatives is simply because of their size and their archaic nature of constantly referring to other laws already on the books which means not only do they have to read this bill put before them but often other huge laws just to understand what they are voting on. Then once you tack on all the superfluous crap unrelated to the topics of some of these bills but put in them by other representatives looking to get something for themselves in the end you have a thousand pages of proposed regulation.
So my proposal is simple. And it will help all of our representatives read everything they are going to be voting on. In honor of Rep. John Conyers I am naming it the Help John Conyers Read The Damn Bill Act of 2009 and it is remarkably simple in scope.
Here it is and I propose it be implemented by both houses.
Section I: All bills created by the House of Representatives/the Senate will not be voted on for a total number of days equal to the number of pages in the bill. This procedure begins from the moment any bill is introduced to the full membership and a completed copy is made available to each. The minimum number of days before any vote shall be no less than one and all partial pages will count as one whole page each. All pages of referenced legislation and all references to other legislation within the referenced legislation, etcetera, will add a total of one (1) day per page referenced to the total number of days before a piece of legislation may be voted on by either House of Representatives/the Senate in addition to the number of days required for the new legislation based on its own number of pages.
Section II: No bill will be introduced until it is completely written and a copy distributed to all members of the House of Representatives/the Senate.
Section III: At any time that the bill is modified by amendment or other process, the procedure is reset and the new version of the bill will not be voted on for a total number of days equivalent to the number of new papers in the bill to start from the time that the amended or otherwise changed bill is introduced and provided in full to all members.
Section IV: All bills not voted on by House of Representatives/the Senate by the end of any legislative session will be void, required to be reintroduced, and this procedure will restart again from the moment the bill is reintroduced.
Section V: Before any member of House of Representatives/the Senate may cast a vote on any piece of legislation before their respective chamber they must sign an affidavit swearing or affirming that they have personally read completely and understand the bill they are voting on.
Section VI: The maximum number of pages of legislation that can be required to be read by any member of House of Representatives/the Senate in a given day will be ten (10). If the current number of pages of legislation introduced or proposed to be introduced in either House of Representatives/the Senate requires an elected representative of the people of the United States to read more than ten (10) pages of legislation in a given day, no new legislation may be introduced until the number of pages of legislation required to be read decreases below this level.
Section VII: This legislation may not be overturned and becomes the binding law of both House of Representatives/the Senate for all eternity.
Section VIII: This legislation may not be amended nor may it have any other legislative initiatives attached to it and shall abide by the rules it sets forth for all future proposed legislation.
There you have it. It should fit on about one page and take people like Rep. Conyers a day to go through. I figure our average representative should be able to handle reading a mere ten pages of gobbledygook a day and this will also work to keep bills to reasonable lengths less they would never get voted on at all due to the time and expiration restrictions I have proposed.
Do I think it will ever be adopted and taken seriously? Hell no! Because it is far too logical and simple for those dunderheads leading us down in Washington. And besides, it would make it very hard for them to pass 1,300 pages of massive new regulation and get away without reading or understanding it!