Saturday, March 28, 2009

Let's Be Open About The Source of Legislation

There is considerable coverage of "earmarks" and the influence that special interests have on legislation. Though a lot of attention is given to the symptom, no one seems to have a solution that would garner enough votes.

Congress should try this for a while: tag every provision in every bill or amendment that was requested by or written by anyone outside the legislature with its source. Let the public know who came up with the great idea that found its way into the proposed legislation so that we can see what is really going on behind the scenes.

To ensure this is done honestly, give the President limited, line-item veto power to strike any provision that originated outside the legislature but was not tagged as such and add internal penalties in each chamber for those who violate the tagging rule.

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