WASHINGTON——Tired of the rigid and uninspired format of traditional legislation, the Congressional Progressive Rock Caucus introduced the Sustainable Employment Future Act, better known as Green Jobs Part I: The Ballad of HR-526.
“We just wanted to do something different, you know?” said congressman Benjamin Chesterton (D-NH), vice chair of the congressional progressive rock caucus. “We see guys trying to legislate all the time, but there’s a certain point where you need to innovate. You can’t just keep writing the same three subsections X pursuant to article Y and expect it to stay fresh.”
The 429-page bill features small business tax incentives, job training programs and several vignettes about the Johnsons, a middle-class American family dreaming of a more energy efficient economy. Where most bills are written in stiff, formulaic legal language, Green Jobs Part I features several sections written as limericks, haiku poems or sonnets.
“Obviously, the little stories about the Johnsons wouldn’t have the full weight of the law if it were passed, but they were just the kind of stories we wish more legislative proposals tried to tell,” said Chesterton. “We wanted to write the kind of bill that provides subsidies to employers in the green energy sector, but also makes you feel.”
The bill, which instates a small carbon tax to pay for the execution of various energy efficiency goals, was released to both congressional and critical acclaim.
“I’ll admit it was one of the more challenging pieces I’ve ever read, so it definitely took me a few read-throughs to ‘get it,’” said New Republic legislative critic Roland Moreno. “The part where it switched into Middle English for Section 27: Agricultural Tax Credit Exemptions threw me for a loop at first, but now it might be my favorite section in the whole bill.”
“These guys wrote the most revolutionary funding section I’ve seen in years, and I’m not trying to take that away from them,” said congressman Burt Derkovichi (R-AK) when asked about the bill in a press conference. “But with all the unnecessary puns about cap-in-trade, not to mention these esoteric references to the Wilmington-Boone Act of 1837, I don’t think this is the kind of bill the constituents can relate to.
“Americans like the kind of legislation you summarize on CNN on two or three minutes,” added Derkovichi. “Green Jobs Part I might be popular with the C-SPAN crowd, but it’s way too complicated to have much mainstream appeal.”
Despite the fact that the bill has yet to leave committee, the Progressive Caucus has already begun work on a sequel, entitled Green Jobs Part II: Reuse, Reduce, Repeat.