House bill 3548 (H.R. 3548)
Plain Language in Government Communications Act of 2007
— Version #1, Introduced September 17, 2007
Click here to go directly to the bill (below).
House bill 3548 (H.R. 3548), 110th Congress—short title, "Plain Language in Government Communications Act of 2007"—was the earliest plain language bill with a direct lineage to the Plain Writing Act of 2010. In addition to its introduced version (shown below), it would have two more versions, but the bill would be blocked in the Senate.
In the next term, the 111th Congress, similar legislation was introduced as H.R. 946, the "Plain Language Act of 2009." That bill would have three more versions. The final version, now entitled the "Plain Writing Act of 2010," passed in the Senate on September 27, 2010; and on September 29, 2010, the House agreed to the Senate's amended version, which was signed by President Obama on October 13, 2010. The bill thus became law (Public Law No. 111-274; in pages 2861-2863 of volume 124 of the United States Statutes at Large, or 124 Stat. 2861).
About Version #1
Version #1 (below) represents the version of House Bill 3548 (H.R. 3548) that was introduced in the House of Representatives by Rep. Bruce L. Braley (IA-1) on September 17, 2007, and referred to the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, which would subsequently add amendments to it (making version #2).
(For a history of the legislative process by which the various plain language bills struggled through Congress and ultimately resulted in passage of the Plain Writing Act of 2010, see the Legislative History project of the Plain Writing Association by clicking here. The project also gives more details about the amendments made to the various versions.)
For purposes of this project, the Version #1 is the introduced version and any susequently reported versions, provided that they added no amendments. Version #2 is the amended version of Version #1; and so on. Thus, Version #3 would be an amended version of Version #2; and Version #4 would be an amended version of Version #3. In short, as long as a version of a bill does not change (for example, from the time it's introduced to the time it's reported out of a committee), it is treated as a single version.
Each bill shown has indications of what material is different from the previous bill shown. Red with overstrike is what was in previous one but not in current one; green is what is in current but not in the previous one. These proofreading-like marks provide an excellent sense of the thinking that went into the process of revision and markup from one version to the next; this is not meant to suggest, however, that the actual revision necessarily utilized only the immediately preceding version.
Sources of original versions include GovTrack.us and Thomas.LOC.gov
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