Alexander: “The Era of the 1,000-Page Bill Is Over”

September 15th, 2009 - WASHINGTON - U.S. Senator Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.) today made the following remarks on the floor of the Senate (a full transcript of Senator Alexander’s remarks is available upon request):

• “It’s time for Congress to admit that we don’t do comprehensive well. It’s time for us to admit that the era of the 1,000-page bill is over.”

• “I think it’s obvious that we in Congress have been biting off more than we can chew on immigration, health care, and other issues. We’ve been producing 1,000-page bills which most members of Congress haven’t even read, in which voters have no confidence, and out of which will come unintended consequences and results that are bad for our country . . . it inevitably adds to the debt—the national debt, the government’s debt, our taxpayer debt—at a time when we’re adding $9 trillion to the debt in just ten years and everyone is worried about how we’re going to pay that back. And at a time, fairly or unfairly, where the American people are seeing a new administration propose, it seems like, a new Washington takeover every other day—the banks, insurance companies, student loans, and now health care.”

• “I suggest we change course—that we follow rule 259 from my ‘Little Plaid Book’ and we begin to work on major issues facing our country step by step to re-earn the trust of the American people, to begin to solve the big challenges of this country. We bite off what we can swallow. We make sure we get it right. And after we’ve taken the first steps, then we can take another series of steps until we eventually resolve the problem. A few steps in the right direction are a good way to get where you want to go.”

• “In the end, we need results, and I’ve concluded that the best way to get results on health care, on immigration, on other major issues facing our country is to put aside the 1,000-page bills and re-earn the trust of the American people by working step by step to begin to solve the challenges facing our country.”