The Walkerville Weekly Reader

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Walkerville, VA
Monday, November 20, 2017
Carolyn Purcell, Editor

Congressmen vow to read all bills before passing them

Justice Department stealth “search” provision in “Defeat Meth” act has Congress up in arms about long texts, arcane language of bills.

Senators are up in arms about having been tricked into passing a law removing fourth amendment protections, according to sources on Capitol Hill. The Senate passed the Methamphetamine Anti-Proliferation Act last year, but few Senators had read Section 301, which allows law enforcement to perform searches without notifying the person whose property is being searched, and without providing an inventory of the items seized.

“Hatch and the Justice Department buried it deep in the bill, and nobody noticed until the thing had already passed,” said an anonymous source familiar with the Judiciary Committee markup process.

“These things are huge,” said Representative Bob Barr (R. GA). “Normally, what we do is each of us will choose one word from a bill, and if we don’t have any objections to that word, we’ll vote for the bill. Clearly, we’ll have to investigate this process for modification in the future.”

Most Senators, however, seem to be calling for revamping the entire process which allows bills to grow to such huge sizes. The “Defeat Meth” act runs a full 303 sections, most of which uses arcane, hard to understand verbiage. “There is a growing sentiment that laws should be short and easy to understand,” said one anonymous staffer. “After all, if even the people whose sole job is to read the bills can’t read them all, how can the rest of the country keep from running afoul of these monstrous texts?”

Jeanne Lapatto, Senator Hatch’s spokesperson, said that she was “shocked to hear that some Congressmen did not read this bill in full. This bill was passed with bipartisan support, and if some lazy congressmen didn’t read all 303 sections, well, tough titties, guys.” Lapatto pointed out that 303 sections isn’t necessarily a lot in comparison to other things. “When I was in college, we had professors assign us a hundred pages every week. Some of these congressmen are three or four times as old as I was in college. They ought to be able to read three or four bills like this every week if I could read one in college. They’re just a bunch of whiners.”

President Clinton stated that he is firmly opposed to reducing the size of proposed bills, but that he is open to compromise. “We have looked at the matter closely,” said the White House, “and we believe that a compromise solution is available. From now on, we shall insert special ‘prize phrases’ into all of the bills we present to Congress. The first congressman to find each prize phrase will win new cars, money, young secretaries or pages, and other great prizes.” According to the White House, there will also be consolation prizes for the second and third congressmen to find each prize phrase. Second prize will be a new toaster, or $50 in cash, and third prize will be a free pass to the White House swimming pool.

One Senator from Massachusetts, who wishes to remain anonymous, said that he stood fully behind the president on this compromise, and had his eye on the nice young secretary. Actually, a lot of senators, from all over, who all wished to remain anonymous were said to have their eyes on that prize. Most senators disdained the swimming pool pass. “That’s a loser prize,” said Senator Orrin Hatch (R. UT). “They might as well give away the ‘House and Senate’ Home Game. But I wouldn’t mind the new toaster. I do recommend that they change second prize for each bill. How many new toasters does a senator need?”

A small clique of freshman representatives have rejected this compromise, and have vowed that unless average bill length is dropped considerably, they will read all bills before voting on them, “and if this results in fewer bills being passed, we’ll just have to live with it.”

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