Senator Rand Paul is once again campaigning for a law that would require Congress to read the legislation it passes. Senator Paul has been on a personal crusade to pass his proposed legislation for more than a decade; the massive spending package recently passed by the Senate has inspired him to renew his calls for a reform that would require his colleagues to understand the things they vote on and examine frivolous spending.
Rand Paul campaigns for more scrutiny on spending
The $1.5 trillion spending bill approved by Biden and Congress was made more urgent and important with the addition of funds meant to support Ukraine.
This was only a sliver of the spending included in the act, which was ultimately 2,741 pages in length and passed with bipartisan support.
Rand Paul argues that the length of the legislation is particularly offensive. It would be humanly impossible for anyone to read the entire bill before it was passed, especially for a busy member of Congress.
It is even more inaccessible for the public. Voters who want to know what their representatives are voting for simply have to take their word for it.
The grotesque size of spending bills passed by Congress can allow near endless opportunities for politicians to quietly insert pet projects and earmarks without public scrutiny.
It is almost impossible to know how much pointless bloat has been shoved into the spending package in the name of defense and other unrelated categories.
An uphill battle in Congress
Rand Paul suggests legislation that would require a wait of one day for every 20 pages before a vote could be held.
This would make it more difficult for such gargantuan bills to be produced and would ensure that there would be abundant time to read through proposed legislation.
Politicians presumably would not be willing to insert blatantly frivolous spending into a bill if taxpayers were presented with the extent of the waste.
This is also why Rand Paul will never get his Read the Bills resolution passed. Both parties operate like this and most members of Congress have no incentive to violently disrupt the way D.C. works.
A minority of Republicans in Congress might support Senator Paul’s initiative, but even if the GOP retakes the House and Senate in 2022 it would be extremely unlikely that he could win the necessary votes.
The Kentucky senator is devoted to an almost hopeless mission given the bipartisan enthusiasm for wasting money in Congress, but angry taxpayers might at least appreciate the effort.