Legislators to Congress: Time to get things donePIERRE — The South Dakota House wants to play the role of congressional peacemaker, voting unanimously Thursday to endorse an idea aimed at helping feuding factions in Washington find common ground and get things done.
By: CHET BROKAW, The Associated Press
PIERRE — The South Dakota House wants to play the role of congressional peacemaker, voting unanimously Thursday to endorse an idea aimed at helping feuding factions in Washington find common ground and get things done.
The representatives passed a resolution asking Congress to propose an amendment to the U.S Constitution that would require each bill passed by the U.S. House and Senate to deal with only one subject.
South Dakota and 42 other states have similar language in their constitutions, helping those state legislatures find agreement — one issue at a time, said Rep. Jon Hansen, R-Dell Rapids, a sponsor of the proposal.
“It would allow the country to focus on what we agree on without having to solve all our differences at once,” Hansen said.
Congressional bills often package many issues together in an attempt to garner enough votes for passage. Hansen said people have trouble understanding what’s in the complex and lengthy measures. If each bill dealt with only one subject, Congress could focus on issues on which agreement is possible, rather than getting bogged down in numerous issues that spark disagreement, Hansen said.
The House proposal asks Congress to seek to amend the Constitution by adding: “No law shall embrace more than one subject, which shall be expressed in its title.” The resolution also says “if we must agree on everything to do anything, we will achieve nothing.”
Jamison Rounds, R-Pierre, and Nate Welch, D-Sioux Falls, suggested the proposed amendment.