If the members of the U.S. Senate join their colleagues in the House of Representatives, plain language may soon become the law of the land. The House recently passed H.R. 3548, the Plain Language in Government Communications Act, which would require Federal agencies to use plain language in new or revised documents (letters, publications, forms, notices, or instructions) intended for public consumption.
Congressman Bruce Braley made the following comments about H.R. 3548 on the floor of the House of Representatives:
Anyone who’s done their own taxes knows the headache of trying to understand pages and pages of confusing forms and instructions. There is no reason why the federal government can’t write tax documents and other public documents in language we can all understand.
Writing government documents in plain language will increase government accountability and will save Americans time and money. Plain, straightforward language makes it easy for taxpayers to understand what the federal government is doing and what services it is offering.
What a concept: Government documents that are easy to understand.
I guess it made sense in Congress. H.R. 3548 passed 376 to 1. (I wonder who voted against it, and why?)
A companion bill, S. 2291, has gone to the full Senate for a vote. Contact your senators and encourage them to support this bill.