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Op Ed: Keep Bills 'One Subject at a Time'

I hear the frustration all the time: In person, on phone calls, in emails, letters and online.  People are livid about the way Congress has been passing bills for the last ten years.    Those multi-rider, large, must-pass-at-the-11th -hour measures saddle the nation with more debt, and often circumvent the will of the people.

I feel that frustration, too.  When I was running for office, I promised to address concerns like that, and that’s why I have introduced a new bill that I think will be a start, and will force my colleagues in the House and Senate to pay attention to what I’m hearing.

My bill is called The One Subject at a Time Act (H.R. 4335), and it does just as it says it will.  It would require Congress to consider one thing at a time, instead of bundling so many--often unrelated-- things together.  This will give the people of Utah, and America for that matter, more of a voice in the legislative process.  It would restrain Congressional leadership and create more transparency.

This is a way of keeping another promise I have made:  Bringing Utah to Washington.  The Utah Constitution states: “No bill shall be passed containing more than one subject, which shall be clearly expressed in its title.” (Article VI Section 22).

In the bill that I have introduced, The One Subject at a Time Act would, of course, require that each bill enacted by Congress be limited to only one subject.    It would also end the practice of attaching controversial legislation to unrelated, must-pass bills.

My bill would also require the subject of a bill to be clearly stated in its title.   Too often, we see overly broad, harmless-sounding or even misleading titles that mask a bill that makes drastic changes or affects a lot of people.

I also want to address the practice of folding legislation into larger appropriation bills.  There has been legislation passed that might not otherwise pass on its own merits.  It’s become a way for lawmakers to ‘game the system’, and for lobbyists to manipulate the system. 

By passing this bill, Congress would be taking a big step toward accomplishing a major goal for us:  To make the legislative process more transparent to the public.   Bad legislation would be more vulnerable to public opposition.  It would also create a de facto ‘line item veto’ by putting only one subject at a time to the President’s desk.

I am expecting some opposition to this bill, because many members benefit from the backroom deals that achieve their own special interest.    But I’m not afraid to take those interests on.  That’s what you sent me to Washington to do, to change the ineffective environment.  And so, I strongly encourage my colleagues in the House to do the right thing.

People need to see exactly what their representatives in Congress are voting on.   Let’s stop legislation that includes everything but the kitchen sink.   I say let’s consider bills ‘one subject at a time’.

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    Comments (optional)
    repName Mia Love  
    helpWithFedAgencyAddress Utah 4th District Office
    9067 South 1300 West Suite101
    West Jordan, UT 84088
    Phone: 801-996-8729
    Fax: 801-987-8631
    district 4th District of Utah  
    academyUSCitizenDate July 1, 2016  
    academyAgeDate July 1, 2016  
    academyApplicationDueDate October 30  
    repStateABBR UT  
    repDistrict 4  
    repState Utah  
    repDistrictText 4th  
    SponsoredBills Sponsored Bills  
    CoSponsoredBills Co-Sponsored Bills