In-Depth: Rep. Brian Fitzpatrick (R-PA) reintroduced this bill from the 115th Congress as part of a package of anti-corruption legislation intended to significantly reform Congress and increase executive branch accountability and transparency:
“It is an honor to represent and serve the people of Bucks and Montgomery counties in the 116th Congress. I look forward to serving as their independent voice in Washington during a time when our citizens face a dysfunctional, hyper-partisan, and broken Washington. I believe that these ideas introduced today transcend political parties and strike at the heart of what our country needs: a rebirth of belief in our leaders and institutions so we can tackle the challenges we face and accomplish great things in this new era. Transparency and unimpeachable integrity are essential to a government that truly serves the people of the United States. This anti-corruption legislation will help restore the American’s people’s faith in Congress and hold public officials accountable."
Sponsoring Rep. Mia Love (R-UT) introduced this bill in the 115th Congress to increase transparency in the lawmaking process by requiring that Congress only address one subject in a given piece of legislation:
“For too long, the legislative branch has failed to address legislative priorities in a transparent manner. Congress has habitually passed large, must-pass bills at the last minute. Loosely related and controversial provisions are frequently attached to these bills under pressure from outside organizations, who know that their best chance to address pet projects is a must-pass bill. Such provisions ride the host legislation like a parasite, forcing members of Congress to either accept a pyrrhic victory by taking the good with the bad, or reject it outright at the expense of the good. The American people deserve better from their elected officials. My bill would require Congress to consider only one subject per bill or resolution. Every legislative provision would be forced to stand on its own two legs, rather than hitching a ride on a stronger host, and make its case to the American people.”
This bill has been introduced in multiple consecutive Congresses, starting with the 113th Congress (2013-2014), where it was introduced by Rep. Tom Marino (R-PA) with the support of two Republican cosponsors
. Last Congress, this bill was introduced by Rep. Mia Love (R-UT) with the support of 27 Republican cosponsors
has also historically supported this bill.
Of Note: According to the National Conference of State Legislatures, 41 states have provisions within their state constitutions that require bills in their legislature to only deal with a single subject. There are also 15 states that require initiatives to only cover a single subject to receive a spot on the ballot.
Summary by Eric Revell
(Photo Credit: Flickr user Circa Sassy / Creative Commons)