In 1992, a younger and far more reformist congressman, Jim Inhofe; pushed through the last great reform of the House of representatives. His Discharge Petition measure made it harder for congressmen to lie to their constituents. Candidate Ross Perot lauded it in his 1992 presidential run.
The OSTA( "One Subject at a Time Act") was been introduced by Senator Rand Paul in the Senate (S. 1572) and by Representative Mia Love in the House ( H.R. 4335). OSTA currently has nearly a dozen co-sponsors in the House. This is also co-sponsored by Oklahoma Congressman Jim Bridenstine.
OSTA will make you more powerful. Most legislation aims to control you, but OSTA will control Congress. It will . . .
- Stop Congressional leaders from passing unwanted laws by attaching them to popular, but unrelated, bills.
- Require each bill to be about ONLY one subject, and to stand or fall entirely on its own merits.
- Make it easier for your elected officials to represent you by allowing them to vote on specific proposals, instead of on groups of bills containing divergent measures.
- Create a de facto "line item veto" by putting only one measure under the President's pen at any one time.
- Give you expanded influence by making bad legislation more vulnerable to public opposition.
The REAL ID Act did something Americans have always rejected. It created a national identification system. This idea had so little support it couldn't even be brought to a vote in the Senate. But Congressional leaders got it passed anyway. They attached it to a bill Senators were afraid to oppose — the "Emergency, Supplemental Appropriations Act for Defense, the Global War on Terror, and Tsunami Relief." (May, 2005).
Senators were scared to defeat a bill that funded the troops, so the REAL ID Act became the law of the land.
A former Senate Majority Leader believed that gambling was immoral. So he promoted a bill to outlaw online poker. But he lacked the votes to get it passed, so, mere hours before the vote, he attached his unwanted legislation to a Port Security bill that most in Congress favored. The result . . .
Online gambling was outlawed, and a whole industry was destroyed in the blink of an eye!
Co-sponsors -- 17 of them...
"But there's more. OSTA also has other powerful provisions . . .
Under OSTA politicians will no longer be able to hide the true subjects of their bills behind propagandistic titles such as the 'PATRIOT Act,' the "Protect America Act," or the 'No Child Left Behind Act.' No one wants to be accused of voting against patriotism, or protecting America, or of wanting to leave children behind. But none of those titles actually describes the subjects of those bills. Therefore . . .
OSTA requires that all titles describe what a bill will actually do, so that Congress and the public can know what the 'one subject' is. Good examples of proper titles include those we have used for our Downsize DC Agenda proposals, which we encourage you to also investigate. In addition to the properly named 'One Subject at a Time Act,' we also have the 'Read the Bills Act,' and the 'Write the Laws Act.' "
Hat tip to Commissioner Goodman for bringing this story to the editor.