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View Diary: And Now, A Message From Dick Cheney (216 comments)

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  •  Somewhere between 140 characters and 1400 pages (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    earicicle, blue aardvark

    there is a reasonable length for a bill.

    Long bills, sadly, are not long because they are clear and detailed. Some merely show that drafters can be masters of obfuscation and confusion in order to get enough folks to agree that they think they are getting what they want.

    •  I think omnibus bills (0+ / 0-)

      violate the check and balance concept.  When you have bills with many independent goals, you have the opportunity for legislators to sell their votes to get their favorite provisions in and you bypass the realistic chance to control things with a veto.  This is why there is an on-going request for a line-item veto.

      •  Paging Ben Nelson (0+ / 0-)

        It's not always omnibus bills that have such undesirable features. Buying votes from congressmen who are just looking for a little more for their state and have no guiding principles is a common activity.

        •  If independent issues (0+ / 0-)

          were passed independently it would be a lot harder to buy votes.  Getting everyone to vote on Ben Nelson's provisions as a separate bill would be very hard to do -- especially if it could be vetoed.

          Of course, we've grown since the continental congress so there simply isn't time for congress to pass all of the spending provisions as separate bills, but in light of that it might be nice to consider a constitutional amendment which would allow the president to pull provisions out of a bill and sign the rest.

          The provisions that were pulled out could be re-passed as a separate bill, or the veto overriden.

          You might want to require that the remaining portion of the approved bill be re-approved by a majority of congress since it wasn't what they passed the first time, but a simple majority should do.

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