Monday, November 9, 2009

Why Members of Congress Won't Read the Health Care Bill or any other Bill

For those of you who wonder why members of congress don't read bills before they vote on them, and the way they are written.  An interesting post from Bruce Barlett,noted conservative economist who served Ronald Reagan, GHW Bush, and consulted with the Bush II White House on "Why Reading the Health Care Bill is a Waste."  (Click the link)

"...Reading an actual bill is a completely useless exercise for the vast majority of members of Congress and staff."


  1. "The point is [sic] this discussion is to show that actually reading a bill is not going to tell the average congressman or senator anything useful about it. Making it some sort of requirement for enactment simply wastes time that would be better spent absorbing summaries and analyses that tell members what the legislation is supposed to do."

    This conclusion at the end of the cited report is the reason why government does not work for the people. The summaries are designed to tell the members of Congress what the bill is supposed to do? Are you kidding me? The process of crafting bills is too complicated, too often done behind closed doors, and the legislative language is often written by unelected people. Don't you find it even a bit disturbing that reading a bill prior to voting on it is a waste of time? The bottom line for me is that the people I elect ought to be putting pen to paper and writing the damn laws themselves. Is this really the way our Founding Fathers imagined how Congress would operate?

  2. I don't think I stated an opinion about the article. I came away aggravated that this is the way business is conducted. Yes, it is very disturbing. Many, many members of both the house and the senate are lawyers. Even the lawyers cannot read the bills!
    And regarding the summaries, who trusts whom? What is the answer? Hell, I don't know. I would guess if they didn't put all the legal mumbo jumbo in 2000 page bills that the supreme court would be filled with lawsuits challenging intent, until they did rewrite the bill with all the legalistic bull.
    I think my original point in posting this was amazement at reading it, and further saddness as to how we do business. I also wanted people to get a sense of how one man said things were.

  3. Sorry if I misunderstood your point. It is so discouraging to watch as our so-called representatives abandon the process of crafting legislation to unknowns. This is why Washington DC is out of touch with average Americans.