Tuesday, November 14, 2006

What a Law Looks Like

Congress took an action this week. It voted to name Delaware's SR1 bridge over the C and D Canal for the late Senator Bill Roth.

This caught my eye for several reasons. I take a professional interest in the names of geographic things (even man-made ones). Bill Roth was the first sitting US Senator I ever met. And I liked Bill Roth. I didn't necessarily agree with him politically, but he seemed like a nice fellow and he gathered around him a staff that did a great job. My Dad always pointed to Senator Roth's staff as a great example of how to do legislative staffing the right way.

So I was interested to hear that Senator Carper's bill to name the bridge for Senator Roth had passed. I was also interested when the Bill's text cropped up in my GovTrackUS.com "Delaware" monitor.

And I was interested to see the simple language of the bill:
109TH CONGRESS
1ST SESSION
S. 1140

AN ACT
To designate the State Route 1 Bridge in the State of
Delaware as the "Senator William V. Roth, Jr. Bridge".

Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representa-
tives of the United States of America in Congress assembled,


SECTION 1. DESIGNATION OF SENATOR WILLIAM V. ROTH, JR. BRIDGE.

The State Route 1 Bridge over the Chesapeake and
Delaware Canal in the State of Delaware is designated
as the "Senator William V. Roth, Jr. Bridge".

SEC. 2. REFERENCES.

Any reference in a law (including regulations), map,
document, paper, or other record of the United States to
the bridge described in section 1 shall be considered to
be a reference to the Senator William V. Roth, Jr. Bridge.
I'm now picturing that little scrolled-up Bill featured on the old Schoolhouse Rock series dancing and singing its way across the Senator William V. Roth, Jr. Bridge.
I'm just a bill
Yes, I'm only a bill
And if they vote for me on Capitol Hill
Well, then I'm off to the White House
Where I'll wait in a line
With a lot of other bills
For the president to sign
And if he signs me, then I'll be a law.
How I hope and pray that he will,
But today I am still just a bill.

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