How can this be changed so bills have to pass or fail on their own merit? Passage of a germaneness rule, which would require any amendment to be required to be germane (closely related) to the original subject of the bill at hand before an amendment could be added. The Wisconsin state Legislature has such a rule. It keeps legislation clean and relational to the intent of the original bill.
Congress enacting such a rule, or a constitutional amendment, could easily remedy this problem. A germaneness committee made up of an equal number of Republicans and Democrats could determine the germaneness questions before debate begins. This would likely bring greater fairness to a currently distorted process. Bills moving forward would have to pass or fail on their own merits. I urge every citizen, regardless of party, to contact their congressional representatives and U.S. senators to adopt such rules in both houses.
Chances of passage of such a rule are slim, much as the idea of passing term limits for elected leaders, which would mean voting against their own self-interest. The effort, however, will go a long way toward reigning in the unnecessary power of elected officials, and allowing citizens to see and understand the primary purpose and justifications for a legislator’s vote on original legislative intent in all bills being considered. If legislators won’t police themselves, adopting a constitutional amendment should be pursued.