Single subject amendment

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The single subject amendment is a proposed amendment to the United States Constitution that would impose the single-subject rule on federal legislation, limiting the content of bills introduced in Congress to a single subject. The amendment would have the effect of limiting legislative tactics such as logrolling, earmarks, and pork barrel spending.[1] It would also discourage the use of very long omnibus spending bills which are difficult for legislators to read and analyze in the time frame needed for a vote, and to which unrelated riders are often added late in the legislative process.[2] As of 2016, 41 states have single-subject rules in their state constitutions, but the federal Congress has no such rule.[1] Many of these state and local provisions are over a century old, and litigation is often used to enforce the provisions.[3]

The amendment is promoted by a 527 SuperPAC also called Single Subject Amendment, which is seeking passage of the amendment through either the Congressional route or through calling a convention to propose amendments to the United States Constitution.[1] A federal amendment was proposed as early as 1999 in a law journal article by Brannon Denning and Brooks R. Smith.[2] The Florida Legislature in 2014 passed a memorial applying to Congress to call a convention for this purpose.[4] A bill was introduced in the 113th Congress, and again in the 114th Congress, to propose the amendment by Congressman Tom Marino.[1] This bill has also been introduced by Congressman Marino in the 115th Congress as H.J.Res. 25. The rule has also been proposed as a law, the One Subject At a Time Act, by Representative Mia Love, which would allow courts to strike down legislation that did not fulfill the rule.[2][5]


  1. ^ a b c d Neale, Thomas H. (2016-03-29). "The Article V Convention to Propose Constitutional Amendments: Current Developments" (PDF). Congressional Research Service. p. 9. Retrieved 2016-07-29.
  2. ^ a b c Reynolds, Glenn Harlan (2016-02-01). "Want to know why voters are so mad? Mia Love has the answer". USA Today. Retrieved 2016-07-29.
  3. ^ Joshpe, Brett (2014-10-24). "How about a federal single subject rule?". Washington Examiner. Retrieved 2016-07-29.
  4. ^ Hinman, Machael (2014-05-01). "Florida first state to demand a single-subject Constitutional convention". The Laker/Lutz News. Retrieved 2016-07-29.
  5. ^ Leef, George (2016-01-29). "Crimp Wasteful Federal Spending With This Constitutional Amendment". Forbes. Retrieved 2016-07-29.

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