Dear Honorable Members of the US House and Senate,

I write to you in an effort to bring a measure of clarity to the legislation that is drafted and voted upon by both houses of the congress. The matter I wish to address is the matter of authorship of the actual text of bills sponsored by members of the House and Senate.  In the interest of transparency, it seems reasonable for citizens to know exactly who deserves credit for the intellectual content, or the ideas and the language, that is put into law.  We know that the actual legislator is far too busy to do the wordsmithing and idea crafting that goes into the drafting of a bill. In that vein, I believe that the citizens or groups who actually craft the document deserve some credit for the work.

Consider for example, HR 5695.  The header of the document lists all of the sponsors of the bill.

HR 5695 IH

109th CONGRESS2d SessionH. R. 5695

To amend the Homeland Security Act of 2002 to provide for the regulation of certain chemical facilities, and for other purposes.

IN THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES

June 28, 2006

Mr. DANIEL E. LUNGREN of California (for himself, Mr. THOMPSON of Mississippi, Mr. SHAYS, Ms. LORETTA SANCHEZ of California, Mr. LINDER, Ms. HARMAN, Mr. MCCAUL of Texas, Ms. JACKSON-LEE of Texas, Mr. SIMMONS, Mrs. CHRISTENSEN, and Mr. FOSSELLA) introduced the following bill; which was referred to the Committee on Homeland Security, and in addition to the Committee on Energy and Commerce, for a period to be subsequently determined by the Speaker, in each case for consideration of such provisions as fall within the jurisdiction of the committee concerned

But the actual owner of the concepts, the crafter of the ideas is at present unknown. It is hard to believe that the Honorable Representative Lungren spent countless hours in the library of congress researching this bill. How much supervision is given and how close does the language represent the will of the constituents? Somehow, the person or persons who drafted the bill are accorded anonymity in their composition of a bill that affects the entire country.

I believe that the persons and the organizations who draft documents which become public laws should be given some kind of co-authorship or citation. In fact, it should be manditory that they be given co-authorship. Ideas good or bad that wind their way into public law should be traceable to the Author. How else can we find out what they were thinking? Could it be true that major pieces of legislation are being imposed on the people of the United States under the pen of ghostwriters? Who are these ghostwriters?

Kindest regards,

Th’ Gaussling (pseudonym, just for irony)

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