Why one bill made it through a gridlocked Congress — and so many don’t



By Andrew Prokop – Out of 7,207 bills and joint resolutions introduced during this Congress, only 103 have become law — fewer, by this point, than in any other Congress since at least the 1970s.

It all started when Representative Darrell Issa got an inspiration from a surprising source. “We both concurred that the Recovery Board’s successes could and should be replicated across the entire federal government,” Issa later said. So he began working on a bill that would do just that.

Finally, on June 13, 2011, Issa introduced the first draft of the Digital Accountability and Transparency Act — the DATA Act.

  • Get the attention of the relevant committee chairman
  • Ease the concerns of outside groups
  • Win an ally in the federal bureaucracy
  • Find a way to pay for it
  • Make sure not even one senator has a problem with it
  • Make sure the House will pass the Senate version
  • Deal with leaks to the press
  • Smooth over the administration’s concerns
  • Make some last-minute concessions to the Defense Department

With that final change, the Senate unanimously approved the DATA Act on April 10, 2014. The House approved the Senate’s version two weeks later, sending the bill off to President Obama, who signed it. Issa and Warner’s idea finally became law. more> http://tinyurl.com/qbuay22

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