Justin Amash Says Members Of Congress Have 'No Idea' Who Is Writing Legislation

Outgoing Michigan Rep. Justin Amash claimed on Sunday evening that members of Congress are not aware of who is writing the legislation that they vote on.

"Legislation used to be crafted by legislators, not 'negotiators,'" he tweeted. "The public needs to know that members of Congress have no idea who the hell is writing our legislation. It's certainly not us."

The House lawmaker's comment was a response to Politico reporter Jake Sherman, who reported that Congress is planning to pass a spending bill intended to avoid a government shutdown. According to Sherman, this course of action will give negotiators additional time to determine long-term government spending plans.

Amash previously criticized House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and her predecessor, Paul Ryan, for shutting down the legislative process. The lawmaker said the speaker has complete control over bills and won't allow other congresspeople to bring legislation to the floor or even amend laws without their approval.

In another Sunday tweet, Amash claimed that Congress could improve the process by ensuring that the role of the speaker is nonpartisan, rules are consistently followed, and legislation is provided in the proper format with enough time to read. Even earlier, Amash tweeted that the lack of amendments and "genuine debate" around legislation drives many congresspeople to avoid reading bills altogether.

"Bills that are passed don't reflect the work of the body. Congress is only superficially a legislature."

Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell stand for the presentation of colors during a Congressional Gold Medal ceremony at the U.S. Capitol on January 15, 2020 in Washington, DC
Getty Images | Drew Angerer

During a recent appearance on Democrat Andrew Yang's podcast, Amash claimed that the lack of pushback against the purportedly stifled process is because there is no desire to disrupt the status quo.

"The sad truth is that the majority of them prefer this system," he said. "When you think about it, it's actually a pretty easy life for them."

According to Amash, many of his colleagues "bend the knee" to leadership and "go along with" the performance of their respective party.

"As long as they play along and do the performance, they are taken care of, they're babied."
Earlier this month, Amash suggested that Democrats replace Pelosi as head of the lower chamber. He also urged Republicans to rid themselves of Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell. According to Amash, Pelosi's hesitancy to impeach Trump was due to her focus on maintaining power. He also suggested that McConnell is a terrible institutional leader who is not focused on fairness and compromise — two traits the congressman argued are crucial for the position.