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Moulton, Meadows, Norman, Cisneros, Fitzpatrick and Trone Reintroduce TL;DR Act to Make Government Paperwork Less Scary

October 31st, 2019

SALEM, MA — Congressman Seth Moulton (D-MA), Congressman Mark Meadows (R-NC), Congressman Gilbert R. Cisneros Jr. (D-CA), Congressman Ralph Norman (R-SC), Congressman Brian Fitzpatrick (R-PA), and Congressman David Trone (D-MD) reintroduced the TL;DR Act—or “Too Long; Didn’t Read” Act.

The TL;DR Act would direct the Office of Management and Budget to require federal agencies to place important action items at the beginning of their letters to Americans that would outline the following information:

  • The action item;
  • If a response is required or optional;
  • The deadline, if applicable;
  • How to complete the action item; and
  • The agency’s contact information

After hearing horror stories from constituents about how difficult it was to understand government letters, Moulton teamed up with a bipartisan group of lawmakers to simplify government letters. Some of those stories are available here.

“Everyone complains about government paperwork and bureaucracy. This bill will help fix it across the entire federal government. The idea came from my constituents, and it’s a great example of how people can change government. My team and I are proud to empower that change,” Rep. Moulton said.

“Any time we can take a step toward making our government more transparent and accountable to the voters, we should take the opportunity,”Rep. Meadows said. “Making agency guidelines easier to understand is a great place to start, so that Americans can better navigate the rules and regulations for federal benefits they’re working with. I’m proud to join Rep. Seth Moulton and the rest of my colleagues on this effort, and look forward to seeing it through.”

“Government shouldn’t act as a barrier to people receiving the services and benefits they deserve,” Rep. Cisneros said. “Government should work for the people, and we should be making it easier for everyday Americans to interact with and receive clear communication from our federal agencies. I’m proud to join my colleagues in this common-sense bipartisan legislation that will help simplify correspondence and promote a system of transparency.”

“Making government more transparent is always a victory for the American people. You should not have to comb through pages of technical and complex language to figure out how to access vital programs such as Social Security and VA benefits,” Rep. Fitzpatrick said. “I’m happy to join Congressman Moulton in reintroducing this incredibly important legislation. This is another step in the right direction to make our government more transparent and accountable.”

“In the spirit of this bill, I want to say simply that people deserve to know and understand the rules that govern them,” Rep. Norman said. “This is a nation of laws, not of lawyers, and the way we govern should reflect that.”

“Our government agencies should work for the people,” Rep. Trone said. “That means not bogging them down with confusing processes, unclear deadlines, or technical jargon. I am proud to support this bill, which will ensure that our federal agencies are truly working in the best interest of all Americans.”

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