In case you missed it (I certainly did), last week the House passed H.R. 3548, the Plain Language in Government Communications Act. In what sounds like something out of an Onion story, the bill requires that government documents be written in plain English, which it defines as "language that the intended audience can readily understand and use because it is clear, concise, well-organized, and follows other best practices of plain language writing."

It's unclear whether the bill will go anywhere in the Senate, or if it would even accomplish anything if it were signed into law. The lone vote against the bill was cast by Arizona Republican Jeff Flake (who, incidentally, represents the most populous congressional district in America). Flake put out a pretty awesome press release, reading, in full:

Washington, D.C., Apr 15 – Republican Congressman Jeff Flake, who represents Arizona’s Sixth District, today released the following statement regarding his vote against the Plain Language in Government Communications Act, which is estimated to cost $2 million a year.  The bill duplicates numerous executive orders and agency initiatives.

“Bad bill.  Voted no,” said Flake.


--Josh Patashnik