Americans would be shocked to learn that THOUSANDS of pages of laws are passed WITHOUT EVER BEING READ by Congress members -- you know, those people that We the People voted into office to represent OUR interests!


"We hold this truth to be self-evident, that those in Congress who vote on legislation they have not read, have NOT represented their constituents. They have misrepresented them.

"And since Congress has repeatedly committed 'legislation without representation', strong measures to prohibit these Congressional misrepresentations are both justified and required."


If you read nothing else, PLEASE READ the bullet points under the RED highlight below:

Help us pass the “Read the Bills Act” (RTBA)

You can read the text of RTBA by clicking the Draft Legislation tab above, or you can start by reading a summary of the legislation below. Following that summary is a description of our strategy for passing RTBA, and then a call to action.

Part 1: What RTBA does and why

Most Congressmen are lawyers, and many others are businessmen. They know what “fiduciary responsibility” is. For Members of Congress, fiduciary responsibility means reading each word of every bill before they vote.

But Congress has not met this duty for a long time. Instead . . .

  • They carelessly pass mammoth bills that none of them have read. Sometimes printed copies aren't even available when they vote!

  • Often no one knows what these bills contain, or what they really do, or what they will really cost.

  • Additions and deletions are made at the last minute, in secrecy.

  • They combine unpopular proposals with popular measures that few in Congress want to oppose. (This practice is called “log-rolling.”)

  • And votes are held with little debate or public notice.

  • Oh, and once these bills are passed, and one of these unpopular proposals comes to light, they pretend to be shocked. “How did that get in there?” they say.

There's a basic principle at stake here. America was founded on the slogan, “No taxation without representation.” A similar slogan applies to this situation:

“No LEGISLATION without representation.”

We hold this truth to be self-evident, that those in Congress who vote on legislation they have not read, have not represented their constituents. They have misrepresented them.

And since Congress has repeatedly committed “legislation without representation,” strong measures to prohibit these Congressional misrepresentations are both justified and required.

To this end we have created the Read the Bills Act (RTBA).” RTBA requires that . . .

  • Each bill, and every amendment, must be read in its entirety before a quorum in both the House and Senate.

  • Every member of the House and Senate must sign a sworn affidavit, under penalty of perjury, that he or she has attentively either personally read, or heard read, the complete bill to be voted on.

  • Every old law coming up for renewal under the sunset provisions must also be read according to the same rules that apply to new bills.

  • Every bill to be voted on must be published on the Internet at least 7 days before a vote, and Congress must give public notice of the date when a vote will be held on that bill.

  • Passage of a bill that does not abide by these provisions will render the measure null and void, and establish grounds for the law to be challenged in court.

  • Congress cannot waive these requirements.
  • The effects of these provisions will be profound . . .

  • Congress will have to slow down. This means the pace of government growth will also slow.

  • Bills will shrink, be less complicated, and contain fewer subjects, so that Congress will be able to endure hearing them read.

  • Fewer bad proposals will be passed due to “log-rolling.”

  • No more secret clauses will be inserted into bills at the last moment.

  • Government should shrink as old laws reach their sunset date, and have to be read for the first time before they can be renewed.

And all of these things will enable a larger to more effectively lobby Congress for small government.

Part 2: Our Strategy for passing RTBA

Our plan for passing this legislation is simple, but powerful.

  • We have submitted a copy of RTBA to every member of Congress.

  • We are asking every member of the House and Senate to sponsor this legislation and work for its passage.

  • We are mounting a campaign to recruit thousands, and perhaps millions of Americans to lobby Congress to support RTBA.

  • We are promoting this campaign with a variety of tactics, from Internet networking, to media interviews, to whatever it takes.

  • We will run targeted radio ads, letting citizens know that their Congressman is failing to support this badly needed reform.

The need for this reform is so self-evident that nearly every person in America should support it, and few oppose it. We see no reason why we should not be able to overwhelm Congress with calls to pass this legislation.

  • We dare Congress not to pass it. The more they resist, the larger and stronger we will grow.

  • We dare anyone to challenge it in Court. The more the lobbyists attempt to defeat this reform, the larger and stronger we will grow.

  • We dare the Courts to declare it un-Constitutional. If they do, we will grow larger and stronger as a result — probably big enough to begin a campaign to amend the Constitution to forbid “LEGISLATION without representation.”

There is simply no reason that any normal, tax-paying American should oppose RTBA. And the more the “powers that be” resist these reforms, the larger and stronger we will grow.

We win either way. And thus, we believe, we will win in the end.

Part 3: A Call to Action

You can help pass RTBA. All you have to do is register to use our easy Electronic Lobbyist system and send a message to your Representative and your Senators asking them to pass RTBA. Registering to use our system will also enable you to lobby Congress on other issues, and to receive our free email newsletter, Downsizer-Dispatch. This free email newsletter will keep you posted on progress with RTBA and other Downsize DC lobbying campaigns. To send your message to Congress in support of RTBA click here.

Thank you.

Jim Babka

Add A Comment


Jun. 2, 2008 at 2:12 PM "Read the Bills Act" is such a very basic concept that it should be a no-brainer for Congress to support  - unless they don't have their constituents' best interest at heart ... and aye there, perhaps, is the rub!

Message Friend Invite

Jun. 2, 2008 at 2:17 PM Them not reading some thing does not surprise me.

Message Friend Invite

Jun. 2, 2008 at 3:23 PM

Problem #1 is what Congress is doing/ not doing. But another serious problem is that Americans are not holding them accountable!  Not enough Americans know or care to know what's going on; they don't understand that liberty is something we have to FIGHT FOR and KEEP FIGHTING for!

Yes, we did produce a near-perfect republic. But will they keep it? Or will they, in the enjoyment of plenty, lose the memory of freedom? Material abundance without character is the path of destruction.  -- Thomas Jefferson

No man's life, liberty or fortune is safe while our legislature is in session. -- Benjamin Franklin

Message Friend Invite (Original Poster)

Jun. 2, 2008 at 4:46 PM Pop/Bump!

Message Friend Invite

Jun. 2, 2008 at 9:18 PM

Too many people seem to be more concerned with Who got voted off the Island than Who got voted into Office.

Message Friend Invite

Jun. 3, 2008 at 8:40 AM The sad thing is this is so true....awhile back the House passed a law called Student and Teacher Safety Act of 2006, I don't know if the Senate passed it or not, but the law stated that our children in public schools could be searched in their entirity (sp), including strip searched without the parental consent or even knowledge if the teeacher has resonible suspicion that they are doing drugs etc...What would stop the teacher from harassing a child they didn't like or God only knows what else. This means that you might never know who or what was looking at your children or touching your children with out your knowledge.

Message Friend Invite

Want to leave a comment and join the discussion?

Sign up for CafeMom!

Already a member? Click here to log in