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June 21, 2012

Do You Know How Your Representative Votes?

When examining Congress's performance in May, I noticed something that will make you angry.

It is explained in this letter I sent telling Congress to cut federal spending…

If we are ever to see fiscal responsibility in Congress, we need transparency first.

Today, however, you often pass spending bills with voice votes.

On May 7 the House (http://1.usa.gov/L4ahjW) held roll call votes on three resolutions authorizing the use of …

* Emancipation Hall to honor the first King of Hawaii
* Capitol grounds for the National Peace Officer's Memorial Service
* Capital grounds for the District of Columbia Special Olympics Law Enforcement Torch Run

These resolutions, costing the American people nothing, passed unanimously. But at least you were on record, because…

That same day, Congress passed spending bill H.R. 4097 to expand the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts.

It passed by voice vote. No roll call was taken.

All I can say is…

Seriously?

You're willing to go on the record supporting the police and Special Olympics. But when you spend my tax dollars you want to hide it?

Of the 35 bills passed by the House in May, only 16 went to a roll call vote. (http://www.downsizedc.org/blog/bills-passed-in-congress-may-2012)

Here are some things the House passed by voice vote instead of roll call…

* A bill that steals my money to help corporations promote exports
* A bill that steals my money to pay for other people's flood insurance
* A bill redeploying part of the Homeland Security quasi-army to harass us on buses and trains
* A so-called “Secure Border Act” requiring Homeland Security to develop, among other things, “major surveillance and detection technology programs.”
* A “North Korea Human Rights Reauthorization Act” that will likely further alienate that regime and make life worse for dissenters.

In short, resolutions that don't impact my life whatsoever get roll call votes, whereas bills that spend my money, increase the national debt, infringe on my liberty, and complicate foreign relations do NOT get roll call votes.

I don't know whether you voted for stealing my money and liberty, or didn't.

I do NOT consent to being “governed” this way!

Introduce changes to force a roll call vote on any bill that spends our money, taxes us, or imposes new laws on us.

Be accountable for your vote!

If the bill is really necessary, have the courage to explain your support.

And if it isn't, OPPOSE it. A debt-ridden, over-taxed, over-regulated nation will thank you.

END LETTER

If you are as disgusted as I am by the way Congress works, you can send a letter using DownsizeDC.org's Educate the Powerful System.

You may borrow from or copy the above letter.

And you can see the bills passed by Congress in May here.

Finally, in the movie “Fools on the Hill,” Jerrol LeBaron shows “representatives” doing their voting for each other. Legislators cast Yes or No votes, and they're not even in the room. Mr. LeBaron wants to make Congress “Read the Bills,” and he surmises they start learning bad habits as state legislators. You can watch his documentary and see for yourself.

View trailers and learn how to order the DVD at FoolsOnTheHillMovie.com.

James Wilson
Policy Research Director
DownsizeDC.org, Inc.

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