A simple idea – Tea Party Nation
March 4, 2011
We need to change the way Washington does business. That is a given. Spending is out of control. When Nancy Pelosi said of the Obamacare bill, we have to vote on it to see what is in it, we all laughed but she wasn’t that far off.
When Congress produces a spending bill, it runs thousands of pages long. It is hammered out in committee, sent to the floor to be voted on, then sent to a conference committee to get the two versions of the bill identical, then sent back for final votes.
Members of Congress can be nailed on a gotcha question every time on what they voted for, because it is stuck inside some huge bill and no one has a clue what they are actually voting for.
Earmarks are often slid into these bills, again with Congress voting on them, not having a clue as to what they are voting for.
Many states have a caption law. What that says is the provisions bill being voted on must reasonably relate to the caption. If you are voting on the Defense Appropriations bill, you cannot put in a provision for a road in Rhode Island.
We need to come up with some common sense changes to the way Congress does business.
How about this as a change? Each time Congress wants to spend money, that bill must be its own individual bill. Let’s say the Congress wants to spend $2 billion for a new aircraft carrier for the Navy. That is the bill. If the General Services Agency wants to spend $2 million for ballpoint pens for the government, that is not on the same bill as the aircraft carrier, it is a separate bill. If a Senator wants a new highway in his state, he has to submit that bill and that bill is voted up or down on its own, as opposed to two sentences stuck in a 2,000 page bill.
This is a very attractive proposal. First, it will make Congress read every bill they vote on. Second, it will slow down the spending process. If you have to have a separate bill for every road project, every effort to rename a building after a politician, for every pork barrel project, it is going to slow the process down. Slowing the ability of congress to spend money is a good thing.
While we are at it, every tax increase can be done the same way. If Congress wants to add a cent to the fuel tax, they do not put that in the Defense Department bill, they have to vote on each tax individually. How many elected Senators or Representatives do you think will want the tag as someone who voted for ten tax increases in one year? How great will it be to eliminate the dodge, “well, I had to vote for that bill that included the tax increase because it also included….”
The left has used the tactic of trying to set up obstructions to destroy the American system. Let’s steal that idea and see how many creative obstructions we can throw up to stop Congress from spending our money!