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Only vote for legislation I have read

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If you like this promise, vote it up, if you don't, vote it down. Every promise is still only a draft - you can vote against it if you think it's just a bunch of political shenanigans. I'll get the hint.
My promise to you: 

I promise not to vote in favor of any piece of legislation until I have read the actual version of the bill I will be voting on.


I have read plenty of lawyer produced multi-page business documents. It isn't my favorite reading, but it was my job as CEO to do it, and in the end it was always useful. Likewise it is the job of a politician to read the bill s/he is voting on. If that is impossible, I will assume it's a bad bill and I won't vote for it.

Think of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (Obamacare). Think 906 pages. Think of the acrimonious debate before, and the rancorous debate after, its passage. Think of what Nancy Pelosi was quoted as saying. 

Surely a five or ten page health care reform bill would have been a better idea. Surely a bill people could actually read would have diffused the situation and allowed all interested parties to debate the actual content of the bill. Surely this is obvious.


Or consider the Federal Register, the daily digest published by the federal government. It contains proposed regulations from agencies, finalized rules, notices, corrections, and presidential documents. In 2012 there were 78,961 pages added to it. No rational person would suggest this was an improvement over the state of the country in, say, 2011. If all senators read all bills the Federal Register would still be long, but it would be useable by actual citizens. As it is, it is not.


I may vote against such a bill.


I may skim certain repetitious bureaucratic lawyerly kant, although my preference would be to roll it up and beat the lawyers with it until they relented and wrote something humans could read.


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