Congressional Aptitude Test A Caveman Could Pass
Earlier this month, staff members of the National Taxpayers Union (NTU) "compiled its second annual “No-Brainer” list to highlight common-sense, bipartisan bills that Congress has yet to pass. These measures would address problems that would save the American people money, or otherwise make government more efficient while not being legitimate cause for an ideological stalemate." (NTU Issue Brief #185, September 5, 2012)
NTU even suggests that passing some or many of the bills could even raise the esteem of members of Congress. They write:
"The popularity of the legislative branch remains in the basement; perhaps by working together to pass these straightforward, “No-Brainer” bills, Members of Congress can gain some momentum toward reforming government, and demonstrate to the American people they still have plenty of neurons firing upstairs."
The bills cover such issues as transparency, spending, tax reform, agriculture, and energy. A couple even have bipartisan support. For example, the DATA Act, introduced by Rep. Darrell Issa (R-California) and Sen. Mark Warner (D-Virginia). Here's NTU's explanation:
"The DATA Act (H.R. 2146/S. 1222): Introduced by Rep. Darrell Issa (R-CA) and Sen. Mark Warner (D-VA), the legislation would greatly increase government transparency by building on the success of the USAspending.gov website, which provides public access to federal grant, contract, and other information. There is currently no standard for financial data collection, significantly hampering the usability of the current transparency websites. The DATA Act, a holdover from the 2011 “No-Brainer List”, would remedy that problem while also addressing waste and fraud. It passed the House this April with strong bipartisan support on a voice vote, but the Senate has inexplicably failed to take it up."
Given the bills' bipartisan support, it would be interesting to know how Virginia's candidates for U.S. Senate George Allen (R) and Tim Kaine (D) and the candidates for Virginia's 8th Congress district Rep. Jim Moran (D) and Patrick Murray (R) stand on the DATA Act and each of the nine other "no brainer" bills that are listed in the NTU Issue Brief. Taxpayers may want to ask the candidates at the candidates' next townhall meetings.
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