Law to require legislators to read bills before voting

When we the people elect members of Congress to represent us, shouldn’t we expect that our representatives read the text of a law before they decide how they should vote on it? Anything less is willful ignorance and a disservice to our country.

What if we had a federal law that required legislators to show that they comprehend bills before they vote?

This could be enforced with tests moderated by a 3rd party before voting begins. If the legislator fails the comprehension test, then they are required to abstain from the vote and this will show up in public records.

Here are some possible effects of a law such as this.

  • There will be fewer laws.
  • Congress people will spend more time on the legislation itself than on politicking.
  • Laws will become shorter and more understandable.

Oh wait, I just ran a Google search on “congress not reading law” and found information about “The Read the Bills Act (RTBA).”

I like it. I did actually read the whole text of the bill, and think it would do fine. I still like the idea of testing for comprehension, to avoid congress members from doing other work or sleeping through the reading of bills.

Shouldn’t legislators understand bills on which they vote? If that isn’t a core aspect of the job of an elected legislator, what is?

Author: Davin Granroth

Davin is Chief Operating Officer for Covenant Eyes, Inc. in Owosso, MI, USA, where he gets to mix his background in user experience design, research, and strategy with the operation of a software company. For more, see his LinkedIn profile.

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