Article 1 Section 4; The 20th Amendment
“The Congress shall assemble at least once in every Year”
It was obvious in 1787 that Congress was going to need to meet more than one time a year. I’m just not convinced they meant 191 days, or close to 1,700 hours, as the 111th Congress did in 2009.
How many laws could we possibly need to pass in a single year? Apparently our Congress felt the need to introduce over 9,000 measures and/or bills in 2009, doubling 2008’s total. But don’t worry. They were only able to pass roughly 1,600 of those measures successfully into law.What kind of laws? Who knows..
There’s this one that sounds kinda creepy.. Public Law 111-123, approved on December 28th, 2009. It mentions permitting the continued financing of Government operations and strikes some number from some other law and inserts ‘‘$12,394,000,000,000’’. Is that billion? Actually, no, I believe that’s TRILLION. Twelve trillion, three hundred ninety four BILLION.
Or how about the hundreds of public laws that were enacted or amended for the sole purposes of ‘and other purposes’, or striking words such as ‘in’ and inserting ‘for’, or striking ‘appropriate’ and inserting ‘authorize’, or striking one number, and inserting another number (the same number) with extra 000’s at the end?
I like the fun ones like Public Law 111-31,the Family Smoking Prevention AND Tobacco Control AND Federal Retirement Reform Law. How clever those little thieves can be.. In one single law they are able to grant the FDA with authority to control all marketing and production of tobacco products (forgetting 3 months prior they added a $2/pack tax to support SCHIP), AND reform Federal Retirement and Thrift Savings Funds. Who would’ve known Tobacco Prevention and Federal Retirements had ANYTHING to do with one another??
And yes, there were the notorious honoring of achievements by various civil servants, sports figures, disabled people, and minorities along with the naming of Post Offices and Courthouses. Aren’t those guys (and gals) just so thoughtful…
The man who drafted the Declaration of Independence was certainly on to something when he was quoted as saying:
“Laws are made for men of ordinary understanding and should, therefore, be construed by the ordinary rules of common sense. Their meaning is not to be sought for in metaphysical subtleties which may make anything mean everything or nothing at pleasure.”