Mia Love, (R) Utah & Rand Paul,(R) Kentucky (114th Congress) co-sponsored House and Senate Legislation proposing ‘One Subject at a time Act‘ – (H.R. 4335; in committee pending approval).
This legislation would require Congress to vote on single parts of legislation at a time; not allowing for “Riders” i.e. unrelated pieces of legislation, pork barrel projects and other Special Interest legislation to be added in by stealth.
Everyone knows the problem with Congress is its addiction to spending. Of course, they are paid by Special Interest Lobbies to introduce legislation benefiting international corporations. They pretend to represent the American people when in fact they represent Moneyed Interests.
This is a vicious circle of corruption that must be stopped if America is to survive.
The establishment and its surrogates give the Love/Paul legislation a 0% chance of enactment. Of course it will claim that acts of congress are the Peoples business and must be expedited for the ‘sake of the nation’. When in fact it is prolifigate spending that has put us BEYOND Debt-to-Income ratio parity. This is why they are desperate for any opportunity to raise new taxes.
The Bill was referred to committee on Jan 6, 2016, which will consider it before possibly sending it on to the House or Senate as a whole.
Often it’s the only way that legislation will get passed anymore — bits and pieces from various forms of legislation will be cobbled together into one package. Even if a representative or senator disagrees with some provision, they might still vote for the overall bill as a compromise.
Rep. Mia Love (R-UT4) and Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) think it’s time for that famous (or infamous) tradition in Congress to end. They have introduced the One Subject at a Time Act, H.R. 4335 and S. 1572, to stop the practice. The legislation would require all bills in Congress to only deal with a single topic, to be clearly expressed in the bill’s title (so no more confusing titles). More controversially, it would also void any act that deals with two or more subjects, or any provisions not clearly expressed in the bill’s title.
What supporters say
Supporters say it would bring much-needed transparency and simplification to the legislative process. They also note that 41 states, both blue and red and purple, currently have such “single-subject rules” in their state constitutions.
“There has been legislation passed that might not otherwise pass on its own merits. It’s become a way for lawmakers to ‘game the system,’ and for lobbyists to manipulate the system,” Love wrote in an op-ed. “By passing this bill, Congress would be taking a big step toward accomplishing a major goal for us: To make the legislative process more transparent to the public. Bad legislation would be more vulnerable to public opposition.”
Reasons why it might not be a good idea
GovTrack Insider was unable to locate any sitting members of Congress voicing their opposition to this bill, likely because they recognize the bad optics of vocally opposing such a measure. But political scientists have noted several potential flaws.
One is that a single-subject rule creates a roadblock to legislative compromise, since a bill on a solely-conservative or solely-liberal issue would face steep odds of being enacted into law.
[This is a bogus assumption. Legislation will most likely be judged on merit, not political expediency]
Another is that it creates far more litigation in the courts, with Louisiana alone having faced more than 300 challenges to enacted bills or initiatives on single-subject grounds. Third is the grey area in defining what exactly constitutes a “subject,”with much dispute over how “unrelated” a provision would have to be before it’s no longer considered relevant to the main topic.
The One Subject at a Time Act has attracted 17 House cosponsors, all Republicans, and awaits a vote in the House Judiciary Committee. No cosponsors have signed on in the Senate. Previous versions introduced in2013 and 2012 never received votes.