Stop Omnibus Bills With This Constitutional Amendment

This new spending bill, as narrated by Sen. Paul below, is a 2200 page bill full of special interests, earmarks and needless spending. Only a couple days were given to read it before voting on it, and Sen. Paul went to work:

Despite hours of tedious reading, Sen. Paul only finished 600 pages before having to retire. His had no shortage of ridiculous clauses to expose to the public on his tweet storm, but the issue is not each of these clauses, but the nature of the omnibus bill. Following will be an argument for an amendment to the Constitution that would prevent these omnibus bills.

If you like this idea, SHARE IT, and send it to your representatives and senators so we can maybe make something like this happen! If anyone would like to help me spread this idea, go to the Contact Page and send me a message with your email in the message so I can reply or message me on Facebook or Twitter!

The Jefferson Amendment

Because every bill and amendment needs a catchy slogan or name, this one is named after the Founding Father, Thomas Jefferson, who first wanted something like this plan implemented in the Bill of Rights.

The plan has three parts:

  1. Congress cannot vote on a bill that is longer than 20 pages.
  2. Congress must allow a final version of a bill to be reviewed by both houses for one week before voting, and allowed 2 days to review any amendments to the bill.
  3. Congress must allow the public one week to review the bill before it is taken to the president’s desk.

These three parts would create more transparency in government action and limit the scope of bills, forcing Congress to put forth the best laws. They couldn’t scratch each other’s backs by trading special interest clauses and earmarks, but would have to pass the law on the merit of the idea. Here is how each part would help.

1. 20 Page Limit

This would stop earmarks and clauses hidden in the bill on page 1589 that fund some random special interest with taxpayer dollars. Also, there would be no excuse to not know what is in the bill, and there would be no “pass it to find out what’s in it.” The bill would be clear, succinct and limited in scope because it would require lawmakers to focus on a single idea.

By limiting the length of the bill, it would not only restrict bills to a single idea, but would allow for the other two points of the plan. The 2200 page bills are unreadable in general, but especially in two or three days. Sometimes they are not even presented until the day of the vote, which is the reason for point two.

2. One Week Before New Bills, Three Before Amended Bills

One week to review bills allows representatives and senators time to review any bills that would be coming across their desk personally. Instead of relying on staffers’ opinions, they would do their duty of representing those who voted for them. A week would be plenty of time to really read and propose changes to bills, and may make enough work for Congress that they stop passing so many unnecessary laws.

The three days after a bill is amended and sent to the other body for passing would allow representatives or senators to review any changes and understand how that changes the bill. Implementation of a law can be skewed incredibly by small amendments, and knowing these amendments well would ensure the bill would make for a better law. Also, these amendments are when earmarks for special interests are inserted in the bills, so taking three days to review would allow for transparency from these.

3. One Week Before The President’s Desk

This is where transparency to the public plays a role. The first two points allow for transparency among members of Congress, and would allow for the media to talk about what is in the bill. However, waiting a week before signing the bill into law would allow the media to discuss the ramifications of a bill before it is signed and allow for people to adjust to these ramifications or plead to the president to veto the bill.

This would provide another layer of transparent accountability in the process, thus placing good and healthy restrictions on Congress. People would know what is in the bills, and can hold their representatives and president accountable for their decisions. While this would be far from perfect, it would be a leap in the direction of limited government.

Implementation

Urging Congress to pass an amendment like this would be next to impossible; however, that is not the only way an amendment can be ratified. Two thirds of the states can call a convention to propose an amendment, and the amendment would then be ratified by three fourths of the state legislatures or state conventions. This is how the 18th amendment was passed as it was not a popular decision at the time. Now, government accountability is important, but that is why Congress cannot be trusted to act appropriately.

However, it would be important to make this a mainstream idea. Pushing this to senators and representatives would force them to consider it. Asking primary candidates about the idea would urge them to accept the idea, especially those looking to “drain the swamp.” But most importantly,  searching for candidates who vow to propose this is important. Push this idea to Sen. Paul or Rep. Massie’s desk (or Twitter notifications) to make them aware of our hope for this to become a reality.

Last Words

If you want this to become a reality, make buzz on social media about it. Share this with friends and family. But, more importantly, take this to your state legislature or senator. Challenge your candidates running in the primary to bring this to the floor. If this doesn’t become a reality, at least they may hear that people are tired of an unaccountable, monstrous federal government.

Tell them by your actions that you no longer wish to hear about special interests and earmarks for the rich and powerful. Instead, we want a small, accountable government that provides liberty and justice for all.

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