Three Republicans from Florida are backing U.S. Rep. Alex Mooney’s, R-WV, “Readable Legislation Act.”

Florida Republican U.S. Reps. Matt Gaetz, Brian Mast and John Rutherford are co-sponsoring the bill. While most of the bill’s 11 co-sponsors are Republicans, the bill is also being backed by Democratic U.S. Reps. Dean Phillips of Minnesota and Paul Tonko of New York and Delegate Eleanor Holmes Norton of the District of Columbia.

“This bill would help the public and Congress more accurately understand legislation introduced in Congress. A similar policy already exists in the Florida State Legislature,” Rutherford’s office noted.

“The text of bills introduced in Congress often includes confusing references to federal law and U.S. Code that make them difficult to understand,” said Rutherford. “The Readable Legislation Act requires every bill that amends current law to show all changes in full, rather than use technical language to refer to omissions and insertions. This small change would help members of Congress and their constituents more easily read and understand the purpose of each bill and the effect it would have on the public.”

“Readable legislation is a common practice in state legislatures across the country and promotes transparency,” said Mooney. “It is nearly impossible for the public to understand striking or amending sections of the Federal Code. My goal is to make sure my constituents can easily access and understand what Congress is working on.”

According to the bill’s supporters, the legislation “would prevent any current law from being revised or amended by mere reference to it.”

“Every bill or joint resolution that amends an existing section of current law would be required to include the entire section being changed, showing the omissions and insertions proposed. This would lead to a better understanding of the proposals being considered in Congress and how our taxpayer dollars are spent,” Rutherford’s office noted.

The bill was sent to the U.S. House Judiciary Committee at the end of last week. So far, there is no companion measure over in the U.S. Senate.

Kevin Derby
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