New to the art form? This Wall Street Journal article will get you orientated. Also, for more information on how some of these titles mislead lawmakers and the citizenry, find some academic commentary from Brian Christopher Jones here:

Thursday, January 22, 2015

Early Voting Should be SIMPLE

Representative Steve Cohen (D., TN) has introduced H.R.411, the Streamlining and Improving Methods at Polling Locations and Early (SIMPLE) Voting Act. The Congressmen also joined Rep. Jesse Jackson, Sr. and other representatives to introduce H.J.Res 25, a proposed constitutional amendment that would explicitly insert the right to vote into the Constitution. 

The press release is provided below. 


Cohen’s SIMPLE Voting Act Would Guarantee Early Voting Availability in Every State, Reduce Wait Times

Joining Rev. Jesse Jackson, Sr., today, Congressman also cosponsors constitutional amendment explicitly guaranteeing Americans the right to vote

[WASHINGTON, DC] – Congressman Steve Cohen (TN-09) has introduced H.R.411, the Streamlining and Improving Methods at Polling Locations and Early (SIMPLE) Voting Act, which would ensure that every state allows citizens to vote for at least 15 days prior to federal elections and require that states provide adequate poll workers and other resources to prevent wait times of longer than one hour. Congressman Cohen also joined Rev. Jesse Jackson, Sr., and U.S. Representatives Mark Pocan (WI-02) and Keith Ellison (MN-05) on Capitol Hill today to introduce H.J.Res.25, which would explicitly guarantee the right to vote to in the Constitution, an implied right which is currently not enshrined in the document’s text and that has been eroded in recent years.

“With more than 300 successful voting rights lawsuits over the last 2 decades, the Supreme Court striking down critical Voting Rights Act protections, and states across the South making it harder for citizens to vote, it is clear that more must be done to protect this cornerstone of our democracy,” said Congressman Steve Cohen. “Our constitutional amendment would clearly and unequivocally guarantee the right to vote for each and every American, and my SIMPLE Voting Act would ensure they can do it conveniently and without burdensome, unfair wait times. Both would be important steps forward in the march for civil rights.”

In addition to guaranteeing early voting opportunities and adequate resources, Congressman Cohen’s SIMPLE Voting Act would strengthen enforcement of these rights to ensure states comply with the legislation’s provisions. According to the Brennan Center for Justice, at least 83 restrictive bills were introduced in at least 29 states, including efforts to require a photo ID, make voter registration more difficult, reduce early voting opportunities, and make it harder for students to vote. 

While most Americans believe an explicit right to vote is enshrined in our Constitution, the Constitution in fact contains no expressed guarantee of an individual’s right to vote, a point that was confirmed by the Supreme Court’s decision in Bush v. Gore. Only a constitutional amendment can ensure this right will be guaranteed in the future.

The text of H.J.Res.25, the Right to Vote Amendment, follows:

SECTION 1: Every citizen of the United States, who is of legal voting age, shall have the fundamental right to vote in any public election held in the jurisdiction in which the citizen resides.

SECTION 2: Congress shall have the power to enforce and implement this article by appropriate legislation.

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Give me liberty or give me Obamacare!

Here we go again. Senators Orrin Hatch (R., UT) and Lamar Alexander (R., TN) have introduced the American Liberty Restoration Act, which seeks to eliminate the individual mandate in the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act ('Obamacare'). 

A partial press release is included below the jump. 

Hatch, Alexander Introduce Bill to Repeal Individual Mandate

WASHINGTON – Today, Senate Finance Chairman Orrin Hatch (R-Utah) and Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP) Chairman Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.), along with 20 other senators, introduced the American Liberty Restoration Act, S. 203, a bill that repeals Obamacare’s individual insurance mandate. 

“Forcing Americans to purchase insurance goes against our nation’s history of individual liberty. This legislation strikes Obamacare’s individual mandate and restores the freedoms outlined in the Constitution.  Washington should continue to work towards finding a way to equip patients with the tools needed to obtain access to health insurance, but not in a way that attacks the spirit of the Constitution and our treasured history of limited government,” said Hatch.

“How can we continue to enforce the individual mandate when the law doesn’t clearly ensure that millions of Americans are allowed to receive subsidies to help cover the cost? How can we enforce it when Obamacare outlaws plans that fit family budgets?  Millions more Americans are in for sticker shock when they see how much they owe the IRS in April because of Obamacare. We need to focus on making health care plans affordable to Americans,” said Alexander.

The American Liberty Restoration Act would strike provisions in the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA) requiring individuals to purchase health insurance.  The individual insurance mandate in PPACA went into effect in 2014. ...