One of the main reasons I decided to run for Congress is that the process of our Government is broken. The old adage that you "send a good man to change Washington, and it ends up changing him," is a real phenomenon. Every two years, we send good men and women to D.C., and the process changes them. They are required to make deals, sell votes, trade votes, and put in pork in order to get things done. This unhealthy behavior leads to unhealthy legislation. We must fix the process of how Congress functions in order to empower good people to do good things.
The current process obscures accountability, serves only special interests, and is a disservice to the American people. I believe it's time for a new generation of principled leadership, and I want to pass the following four bills to correct the legislative process and return control to the people:
The Read the Bills Act
I support legislation that would require the members of Congress to read each bill before voting on it.
By failing to read a bill or have access to a bill for a sufficient time to read and understand it before it becomes law, Congress is in fact giving us "legislation without representation."
Furthermore, the unwieldy size of many of these bills and the short time for examination deprives our representatives the time necessary to read and process the information and interface with their constituents.
Health Care Bill -- 1990 pages
Stimulus Bill -- 1100 pages
Energy and Global Warming Bill -- 1200 pages
The One Subject at a Time Act
Congress should limit legislation to one subject per bill. To have a bill that deals with protecting the Florida Everglades, and then have provisions added to the same bill that build a bridge in Alaska or take a couple of gun rights away is not a very transparent and forthcoming way to do business. Each bill should stand alone on its own merit and be discussed and debated.
The Write the Laws Act:
Congress should write laws and be accountable for their results, not delegate rule making authority to unelected bureaucrats and corporate lobbyists. Laws should also be written in language we all understand. The lawyers can be put to work after legislation passes to ensure it is compatible with existing law.
The Enumerated Powers Act:
All legislation must specify the Constitutional authority upon which it is based. If there is no Constitutional basis, then the issue becomes one of the individual states. The Tenth Amendment addresses this very issue: "The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people."
We The People must demand a process in government that is transparent, understandable and Constitutional. We should accept no less. I believe a renewed emphasis on good government is critical to reshaping our future. These are not partisan proposals, but they are a radical change to the way things operate in Washington. We The People must force this changes and move away from politics as usual.