Congress: The great American problem

America's greatest problem is not spending, taxes or partisan anger. It is Congress. Photo: AP IMAGES

WASHINGTON, December 13, 2013 — The House of Representatives passed House Joint Resolution 59 Thursday. It will be better known by the name “Ryan-Murray budget bill.”

Ryan-Murray is a classic example of everything that is wrong in Washington.

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This is not just a complaint about compromise or spending or taxes. Those are problems with the Ryan-Murray budget, but not the worst problem.

The number of people who have read the bill would probably easily fit into the seating area of a minor league baseball stadium. Read it attached to this article.

What’s in it? Mercifully, it is much shorter than the “Affordable Care Act,” which came in at 2,700 pages. Here is just one section:

  1. 3  SEC. 114. (a) Each amount incorporated by reference
  2. 4  in this joint resolution that was previously designated by
  3. 5  the Congress for Overseas Contingency Operations/Global
  4. 6  War on Terrorism pursuant to section 251(b)(2)(A) of the
  5. 7  Balanced Budget and Emergency Deficit Control Act of
  6. 8  1985 or as being for disaster relief pursuant to section
  7. 9  251(b)(2)(D) of such Act is designated by the Congress
  8. 10  for Overseas Contingency Operations/Global War on Ter-
  9. 11  rorism pursuant to section 251(b)(2)(A) of such Act or
  10. 12  as being for disaster relief pursuant to section
  11. 13  251(b)(2)(D) of such Act, respectively.

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The problem with this bill and every other bill passed by Congress is not only are they mind-numbingly long, they are so incomprehensible that even lawyers need translators for them. Even then, numerous lawsuits arise over sometimes arcane legislation because no one understands what Congress is saying. 

Perhaps the most confused are the Congressmen and Senators themselves who have no idea what they are voting on.

Nowhere in H.J. Resolution 59 which passed the House and is heading to the Senate does it say exactly how much money the government is spending. 

That is the problem. 

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Congress passes these multi-thousand page bills so they can hide all kinds of legislation that the public would not approve of.

The answer is simple.

Require Congress to limit their bills to one item per bill. 

If the government needs to spend four million dollars on ball point pens to keep the government functioning, that can be one bill. It will only take one page. If the Navy needs a new nuclear carrier, again it will only take one page. 

If the State Department wants to spend three million dollars to teach Asian prostitutes safe sex practices, well let’s see which Senators and which Representatives really want to vote for that bill.

Abraham Lincoln famously called America‘s government, a government of the people, by the people and for the people.

The Ryan-Murray budget simply proves that Lincoln was wrong when he prayed that the government of the people, by the people and for the people shall not perish from the earth.

Today’s government in Washington is a government of the insider, by the insider and for the insider.

Until we change the process so that every American cannot only see, but understand the legislation that Congress is voting on, President Lincoln’s prayer will have been in vain.

Until we change Washington, that government has perished from the Earth.

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Judson Phillips

Judson Phillips is the founder of Tea Party Nation, one of the largest Tea Party Groups in the country and the number one national tea party site on the Internet.

A lawyer by profession, Judson has been involved in politics since his teens. “Ronald Reagan inspired me,” he says.

Judson became involved in the Tea Party movement in February 2009 after hearing Rick Santelli’s rant on CNBC.   “I heard there was going to be a Tea Party in Chicago inspired by Santelli, but didn’t know if anyone was doing a rally in Nashville where I was based.  Finally I emailed Michelle Malkin and asked her if there was a Tea Party in Nashville.  Malkin sent an email back saying, ‘No, why don’t you organize one?’  I did.”

The first Tea Party in Nashville was held late February 2009 which drew a crowd of about 600. Judson then organized the Tax Day Tea Party in Nashville, which drew over 10,000 people into downtown.   It was at this time that Tea Party Nation was formed.  Later that year, Judson decided to bring activists from across the country together, so he organized the first National Tea Party Convention in February 2010, which featured Alaska’s former Governor and Republican Vice Presidential Nominee, Sarah Palin as it’s keynote speaker.

He currently manages the Tea Party Nation website, writes several daily columns and is working on more projects than any one person should.  He is a frequent guest on cable and broadcast news shows, including on Fox, MSNBC, CNN and others.

Contact Judson Phillips


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