Friday, July 24, 2009

Read it or weep

We've had a lot of game changing legislation over the past few months. Some of these bills are massive. Both in their effect on the nation and the number of dead trees and ink they consume.

And I've got to wonder whether our legislators are reading these bills of many hundreds of pages. OK, I'm being charitable. I think many of them are not. I think many of them are reading the Cliff Notes.

This is not OK. We send our representatives to Washington to change our country for the better. How on earth can they vote for or against a bill if they have not read it. Completely.

So I'd like to propose new rules for member of Congress. Well, basically it's one rule with a few subparts. The rule is: no read, no vote. That is, if you have not read the bill in its entirety and are not fully versed in its contents and implications then you cannot vote on that bill. How would we find out? Well, there would be a test. On their way to vote, they would have to take a test. If they got less than an 85% they would be barred from voting. The test would be written by some bi-partisan panel of experts.

But wait, there's more.

Three scores in a row of less than 85% and you get kicked out of Congress. One F and you get kicked out of Congress. Statistics on the scores for all members of Congress are made public and the members have to put those scores in large type on their website and in all future campaign ads.

Presidents get tested too. And if they don't pass the test on a bill they wrote, they have to run naked through the Rose Garden. Enjoy those thorns!

We deserve better people. You can have your opinion on various issues. And you can vote for whomever you like. (Once per election please.) But no matter how you feel about an issue, don't you want to be taken seriously and respected as an individual and an American by having the people that represent you take their sacred jobs seriously?

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