#DCintervention Toolkit: Letter to Senator #3 (Squishy)
April 16, 2013
The Honorable _____________________
I write to you today as a constituent because I am dismayed at the lack of representation, process, and deliberation that the US Senate has displayed for at least the last four years. The “world’s most deliberative body” is anything but. DC, you have a problem.
- It took the Senate four years to pass a proper budget, forcing us to lurch from crisis to crisis, while spending skyrocketed under multiple “Continuing Resolutions.” We should have seen an annual budget introduced, public hearings held, passage, and public conference committee meetings with the House to iron out the differences, etc.
- When the so-called “Affordable Care Act” was passed, it was passed through dubious means in order to ensure quick passage. The bill was almost 3,000 pages long, and most Senators did not bother to read it before voting yes. Even the primary author, Sen. Max Baucus, admitted that his staff read it for him. We are now suffering the consequences.
- Just last week a piece of gun control legislation moved forward though the text of the bill was written by a very small group of people behind closed doors, and wasn’t released until hours after the vote. That means that the most deliberative body in the world voted to proceed on a bill that no one had read.
- The “Gang of 8” is writing another noxiously large bill behind closed doors, with members of the gang bragging about quick passage in order to stymie any opposition – even if that opposition comes from their constituents and the American people. This bill is rumored to stand at 1,500 pages; only one hearing will be held; no amendments will be allowed. An overhaul of our immigration system will affect no less than our jobs, spending, culture, welfare system, education, security, etc., and the Gang of 8 insists on doing it swiftly, without transparency, and without the consent of the governed.
These are but a few recent examples of how the Senate is undermining our Constitution and representative democracy. It is unquestionably shameful that so many United States Senators are willing to work in secrecy and lock the American people out of the legislative process. We elected you to represent us, not to rule over us like emperors. How can we possibly be represented when bills are passed without reading them, when there are few or no public hearings on sweeping legislation, and negotiations happen not in public, but on a “booze cruise” on one Senator’s yacht?
As your constituent and your employer, I am directing you to stop this madness and stand up for me. I want you to insist on a public and deliberative process when writing, debating, and passing legislation. If you do not, I will fight you every step of the way because I will fight for our Constitution, our representative democracy, our freedom, and against the nexus of power that seeks to use unethical, unrepresentative, unconstitutional processes to disenfranchise and oppress the American people. However, if you stand up and fight for the Constitution and our freedom, I will stand with you and fight with you.