Annals of Legislative Silliness


Just as a counterpoint to the argument for legislative — as opposed to conceptual — language is this one example of the amazing ways that lawmakers structure their legislative language (via Dana Milbank):

Consider Hatch Amendment F-7, which adds “transition relief for the excise tax on high-cost insurance plans for any state with a name that begins with the letter ‘U.’ ” There’s only one state that begins with the letter U, and that’s Utah, home state of the amendment’s sponsor, Sen. Orrin Hatch.

Can I get a senator to write an amendment that goes something like this, “Provides $700 billion for individuals with first names beginning with the letter ‘P’, last names beginning with the letter ‘B’, born in the fifth month on the sixth day of the one-thousand nine-hundred eighty first year, residing within the 20001 zip code.” Ok, that might not be specific enough.