Last week, Senator Rand Paul (R-KY) quietly introduced three pieces of legislation that could seriously impact the way Congress passes laws. The bills, S.1663 - Write the Laws Act, S.1664 - One Subject at a Time Act, and S.1665 - Read the Bills Act, aim to require Congress to write clearer legislation and actually read bills before passing them.
“I don't think these have a chance of passing, and they should. They should be passed,” Glenn said on radio this morning. “This is the kind of fundamental transformation that America needs going in the other direction. And see if these wouldn't have 80% popularity [with the American people].”
“Too often in Congress, legislation is shoved through without hearings, amendments or debate,” Sen. Paul wrote in a press release. “Elected officials are rarely given an adequate amount of time to read the bills in full, and unlike Rep. Nancy Pelosi, I believe we must read the bills before passing them into law.”
The Read the Bills Act, for example, seeks to right the wrongs that have arisen from Congress straying “from the salutary practice of full, verbatim readings of each bill before final passage.”
“In other words, we wouldn't have passed healthcare at this point because you would not have read 3,000 pages by this time,” Glenn said. “And they would have stopped and said, ‘I don't understand that.’”
“If the Republicans had any sense at all, and they actually cared, here are proposals that would be supported by 80 or 90% of the country,” Stu said. “That would do real help in limiting government and limiting the tricks that go on in Washington… But the point is, why wouldn't this be a huge push of yours, if you're the Republicans? It's hard to come up with another answer.”
As Glenn explained, Constitutional Republicans like Sen. Paul would have no problem supporting legislation aimed at limiting the power of Congress, but progressive Republicans, who make up the core of the Republican establishment, will not be open to ceding such control.
“You want to stop the progressive movement? This is the way you do it,” Glenn said. “You were just about to say it's hard to come up with a reason for [not supporting this] – unless you're a progressive.”
Front page image courtesy of the AP