Just Say NO To Christmas Tree Bills

in news •  2 years ago 

Each bill should be one single law. The senate should adopt a ‘germaneness’ rule requiring all amendments to be germane to the subject bill.

Christmas tree bills usually receive most of their "decorations" in the Senate, where lawmakers’ proposed amendments aren’t constrained by the germaneness rule that requires all amendments offered in the House to be related to the bill’s original purpose. Once they’ve been adorned with riders, Christmas tree bills frequently end up getting passed in December when Congress is rushing to finish its business before adjourning for the year prior to the start of the holiday season. Tax packages and budgets are frequently considered that time of year, so as a result they're frequently transformed into Christmas tree bills.

No one really knows when the term "Christmas tree bill" first came into use, but a 1956 Time Magazine article was titled “The Christmas Tree Bill” and discussed a farm bill that was the target of more than 100 amendments. A Democratic Senator from New Mexico, Clinton Anderson, remarked that “This bill gets more and more like a Christmas tree; there’s something on it for nearly everyone.”
[Full Article](What You Need to Know About Christmas Tree Legislation (via @countable))

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Comment by @killerwhale. This is a opt-in bot.

Well, .... I don't know if we can do this in the current paradigm.

We would need a different way of voting.
Because, politicians tend to not honor their deals. I will vote for your bill, if you vote for mine.
So, you would need to have packaged bill votes.

Really, a law should be:

  • No more than one page, in plain english. (of course there will be more pages for tying up loop holes, etc)
  • Should apply to everyone in its jurisdiction.
  • Have a time limit, where it automatically leaves law.
  • Passed by 90% of congress. (if it is a law, then 90% of the people are already following it, and now it is just being written down, with punishments attached for the breaking of it)

The idea of adding a rider to a bill so that no one will vote for it is just bad politics. And people should be shot for it.