U.S. Rep. Tom Marino, PA-10, on Monday introduced the One Subject at a Time Act that he says will "change business as usual in Washington."
Marino said the aim of the bill is to make representatives and senators more accountable by ensuring Congress only passes laws that stand on their own merit.
"One of the biggest problems in Washington is the longtime practice of attaching unrelated bills together in order to get a favorite measure passed," Marino said. "Both parties are guilty of this. The best way to ensure openness and transparency and for all representatives and senators to become more accountable is to conduct up-and-down votes on one issue at a time."
Marino said passage of the law would put an end to the deals and trades that legislators engage in to secure sufficient votes for pieces of legislation. It is common practice for congressional leaders to combine measures with other legislation on unrelated topics in order to gain the support of other elected officials. The clearest example of this abuse, he said, is the president's health care reform law which was passed in 2010. In order to garner enough votes to pass the law, a host of unrelated measures was tacked onto Obamacare -- namely the changes to the student loan process.
The One Subject at a Time Act requires that all titles describe what a bill will actually do and that the legislation cover only one general issue at a time. In this way, Congress and the public will be well aware of the "one subject" on which they are voting and an issue can be fully vetted and considered on its own merits.