Ron Paul's Texas Straight Talk - A weekly Column

December 20, 1999

Cosponsored Bills
106th Congress, 1st Session

This past year I cosponsored 200 bills in Congress. This means that I have given my name support to legislative initiatives introduced by another member of Congress. As might be expected, nearly half of those bills deal in one way or another with reducing the tax burden faced by Americans. I cosponsored Congressman Kasich's bill to cut taxes across the board for all Americans, as well as dozens of bills calling for tax relief for educational purposes. Other bills target tax relief to American seniors and for all Americans who are seeking to improve their health care choices.

Some of the bills I have cosponsored deal with topics on which I have already introduced legislation. These include measures dealing with second amendment rights protection, restriction of funding to the United Nations and "Sense of Congress resolutions" regarding executive orders and privacy issues. Often times, I cosponsor a bill that is not necessarily drafted in such a fashion that I believe will really get at the heart of the problem it is intended to address. Nonetheless, I decide to cosponsor such measures, as long as they take steps in the right direction. Additionally, if the issue is something that I see as significant to maintaining our liberty and restoring our Republic, I will also craft a bill that I think more directly addresses the central problem. In this way, I can lend support to other Members who are moving in the right direction while also advocating a more specific, and often times more significant, remedy to the problem.

Four bills that I cosponsored this year have actually passed through the House. Two of them were "Sense of Congress" resolutions. One of these expressed the opinion that no federal funds should go to the sacrilegious displays at the Brooklyn Museum of Art, and the other one stated that prayers and invocations at public school sporting events ought to be considered constitutional. This latter issue has been very important in Texas where a federal court ruled that prayer before a school football game was unconstitutional. The founding fathers would turn over in their graves if they knew that the constitution they gave us was interpreted by liberal judges as prohibiting a prayer at a local high school. This travesty must not stand, and the real solution, of course, is for the federal courts to keep their noses out of the business of local school districts.

I also cosponsored a bill offered by Roy Blunt from Missouri that delayed even more new federal regulations from going into affect. This bill dealt with ergonomics guidelines, and it passed the House in July.

Also, I cosponsored Don Young's American Land Sovereignty Preservation Act, which passed the House earlier this year. This bill would give Congress say in the designation of natural and historic sites. The President has taken onto himself the designation of such sites.

One bill I cosponsored that did gain support from many in the House, but did not pass the body, was the Tax Limitation Amendment, which would have required a super-majority for any future tax increase. Unfortunately, the amendment was not able to get the 2/3 vote necessary to move it forward.

Next year I will continue to look for worthy bills to cosponsor even as I work, through signing and coordinating Dear Colleague letters and by otherwise working with key Members of Congress, to help move the bills I cosponsored this year through the process and hopefully on to passage.