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Friday, Oct 31, 2014
Commentary

Bills, by many other names


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Bill titles, with their often loaded and coded language, have become marketing tools for lawmakers looking to sell their policies to their colleagues and constituents. From clever acronyms to carefully chosen buzzwords, the names of peices of legislation are rarely afterthoughts.

Here's a look at some of the immigration and other bills floating around Congress, translated.

S.1348 (of the 110th Congress), Comprehensive Immigration Reform Act of 2007

Translation: Here's our latest attempt at a really, really big bill that fixes immigration. (Snooze - that was so 2007.)

S.1, Immigration Reform that Works for America's Future Act (Senate Democrats' signature bill)

Translation: "Works" - that's a double entendre - means it creates jobs. And "America's Future" has a grand sort of scope to it, so you know it's good.

S. 744 Border Security, Economic Opportunity, and Immigration Modernization Act

Translation: There's something in here for everyone! Sealing up the borders? Yup. Creating jobs? Done. Also, it's not that scary, liberal "reform," it's just "modernization" (i.e., the current system is outdated.)

H.R. 2131, Supplying Knowledge Based Immigrants and Lifting Levels of STEM Visas Act

Translation: We can let the smart ones in.

H.R. 2278, Strengthen and Fortify Enforcement Act

Translation: Who doesn't like their enforcement nice and beefy?

And a few non-immigration bills with titles that caught our eye:

H.R. 23, Sanctity of Human Life Act

Translation: Vote against this one, and you might as well vote for the Anti-American Pie Act, jerk

H. R. 2643, Stay in Place, Cut the Waste Act of 2013

Translation: Keeping federal workers right where they are instead of gallivanting off to far flung conferences = saving money.

S.1192 and H.R. 2444, Commonsense Contractor Compensation Act of 2013

Translation: What, you don't like your reforms common sense?

Emily Heil is on the national staff of the Washington Post, where she writes for the In the Loop blog and column.

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