Sunday, May 31, 2009

Congress Outsources the Reading of Legislation

Report by Lexington Reynolds-Hayes, ND Chapter

Time is of the essence, and nowhere is that more true than in our Nation’s Capital.  Over the past few years many citizens have grown concerned that our elected officials have not been reading the long and complicated legislation they are passing into law.  Congressman James V. Hansen (R-UT) addressed the concern by saying, “That has, in fact, been a problem in the past.  For instance, the Patriot Act: I can only think of two people that actually read it, Congressman Paul from Texas, and Senator Feingold from Wisconsin, and let’s face it, they’re both crazy.”  Hansen went on to discuss a new plan recently put into effect that addresses the need for legislation to be read, while still allowing representatives to avoid reading the “long, boring, poorly written documents” that are to become law.  

At President Obama’s request, a program modeled after Henry Waxman’s (D-CA) practice of outsourcing the reading of legislation to workers in India took effect earlier this month.  “I realized the need to have someone to actually read legislation about a year ago after I was browsing through a law that I had previously voted for,” stated the unphotogenic Waxman (pictured left).  “I was shocked that the bill past, it was utter crap.  Rather than go to all the work of reversing the bad law, I decided to focus on the future.  Neither I nor my aids can make heads or tails of that complicated legal gibberish.  I thought, what we need is well educated people that would read this stuff for very little money.  I was on the phone later that day with tech-support for my IBM and the answer to our problem became suddenly clear!”

With the so-called Waxman Plan in effect, the US Government has contracted with a company called IPF Communications in New Delhi, India to read and review anticipated legislation, interpret the material through partisan filters created by Nancy Pelosi and Harry Ried for Democrats and by Mitch McConnell and John Boehner for the Republicans, and finally condense the contents into a couple paragraphs with a recommendation for voting for or against the measure.  Senator Chris Dodd hailed the plan as “American ingenuity”.  Dodd was reportedly excited that he wouldn’t have to give up his many “vaca ... political junkets” to read bills, and was pleased that “for the first time in over forty years legislation is finally being read again!”.

1 comment:

Stephanie M said...

I L-O-V-E that Waxman didn't look back, but looked FORWARD. Its people like him making changes that change the world, really. Powerful stuff.