ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Read the Bill... If You Can

Updated on November 25, 2019
Aaron Huddart profile image

Podcaster and Freelance Writer, community leader, and active political commentator. Former State Representative Nominee.

Read the Bill

In reference to the ObamaCare bill, in 2010 Nancy Pelosi said, "We have to pass the bill so that you can find out what is in it." She does not deny that fact, and to this day stands behind it, kind of. On June 20, 2017 she tweeted ".@SenJohnMcCain calling out Republican hypocrisy is music to my ears. Americans deserve to know what’s in the bill. #Trumpcare" This Tweet does seem to go against her approach in 2010. Then there is this quote. “I love these members, they get up and say, ‘Read the bill,’” said Rep. John Conyers. “What good is reading the bill if it’s a thousand pages and you don’t have two days and two lawyers to find out what it means after you read the bill?”

Well, I think I have the answer. And both Pelosi and Conyers are right, the members of congress can’t read the bills, so they need to pass them to find out what is in them. Let me explain. The House bill for ACA (Affordable Care Act or ObamaCare) was H. R. 3962 and had 363,086 words in it. Reading at a fast pace (450 words per minute) it would take 807 minutes to read the entire bill. What is 807 minutes? 34 days of non-stop reading.

No wonder Pelosi said, “We have to pass the bill to find out what is in it.” There was no time to read it and understand what it would do. The only way to know, is to put it into place and find out what happens. Well, the problem with that is, once a law is in place, especially one that large, undoing it takes a decade or more.

Bookworm or lawmaker

I’m no lawyer or law maker, so I don’t fully understand the need to have 1,500+ page bills. All I know is that what is happening now in Washington DC isn’t working. In the 115th House Congress (2017-2018) they voted on over 1,200 bills. At 1,500 pages (like H. R. 3962), it would take over 40,000 days to read, or 110 years. And that is just for 2 years of work.

How can any member of Congress feel good about simply voting for 1,200 bills, knowing they don’t fully understand everything that is in them, then go out and tell the public that they are doing a great job and should be reelected? Maybe the question should be just, how can they feel good passing bills they don’t get the chance to fully read.

Now I get that there are a lot of bills that pass that are passed as Unanimous Consent, and many of those are simply formalities and recognitions of special events or achievements. These bills would not need to necessarily be read every time, but that is only a few hundred a year. Leaving 500-800 more bills, that would be written, read, debated, and voted on in a two-year term.

Job duties

All of that, and they still need to meet with their constituents, you and me, their staff, interviews with the media, campaign stops, fundraising, time with their family, travel time, eating and sleeping, and maybe even a vacation. Yes, Conyers was very right, there is no time left to read bills. Maybe that is where the issue lies. Maybe we need to demand a change that bills must be shorter, and vote on only the bills that have had the chance to be read.

Maybe one of our questions to our Representatives and Senators should be, how many bills have you voted on without reading it, and how did you vote on those bills? Then explain that your decision to vote for them depends on how they answer that question. I wonder if that might start changing how they do their job that we are paying them hundreds of thousands of dollars to do.

Join me

I’d love to hear your thoughts on holding your employees accountable to doing their jobs. After all, what happens if you don’t do part of your job? Have you ever tried this; how did it go? Is it even fair to ask them about this? Did I get anything wrong?

Anyway, this will now be one my questions to those I vote for, will you join me?

© 2019 Aaron L Huddart

Comments

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    No comments yet.

    working

    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, hubpages.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: https://maven.io/company/pages/privacy

    Show Details
    Necessary
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Features
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Marketing
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Statistics
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)
    ClickscoThis is a data management platform studying reader behavior (Privacy Policy)