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Nader pledges support for Liberty Bill and calls on his opponents, John McCain and Barack Obama to do the same.

Thursday, October 30, 2008 at 12:00:00 AM

Press Release
Contact: Ryan Mehta, 202-471-5833, rmehta@votenader.org


"After eight years of Bush,  the next President will need to Consitution.
Printing the Constitution on the dollar bill is an easy, inexpensive, trans-
partisan start off on the right foot," said Indpendent Presidential Candidate,
Ralph Nader.

It began as a civics class project, an idea developed by students of
Liberty Middle School in Ashland, VA, but now it is a bill before
Congress, an example of citizens taking ownership of their government.
The "Liberty Bill Act," first introduced in 1998, is a bill proposing
the printing of an abbreviated version of the U.S. constitution onto the
back of one-dollar bills.

Working with their teacher, Randy Wright, the students of Liberty Middle
School believed that changing the design of one-dollar bills would lead
to greater awareness and appreciation of our constitution. By viewing
the constitution during our daily purchases, citizens would constantly
be reminded of our right to assemble, our freedom of speech, and our
right to a fair trial. "Other interactions can be envisioned.” states
Mr. Nader, a strong supporter of the bill. "When police try to order you
out of a public park while you are petitioning your government, show the
constables what is on that dollar bill in your pocket.”

The students believed that by making our constitution more accessible,
citizens would take more pride in our history and become more aware of
the laws of our country. Our nation’s story of progressive reform, from
the abolition of slavery to women’s right to vote, would be etched into
our everyday commerce. Newly printed bills would remind us that "We The
People" founded this nation.

With two-thirds of our currency circulating abroad, the "Liberty Bill
Act" would also inspire citizens of other nations. Using the small space
on the back of the bill, our founding principles would be seen and
discussed in developing countries. Soldiers stationed abroad would also
have ready access to the principles for which they are serving.
Moreover, the seven billion one-dollar bills would pass through many
hands and would freely promote American values—something the US
Information Agency currently spends half a billion dollars to
accomplish. The "Liberty Bill Act," conversely, would cost only a half
million dollars to implement, a fraction of those costs, and the
educational benefit to citizens would be priceless.

Originally presented in the House and Senate in 1998, the "Liberty Bill
Act" has been reintroduced in every Congress since then. During the
106th Congress, one hundred and seven representatives cosponsored the
bill—one of only five bills in the House cosponsored by both the Speaker
and the House Minority Leader. During the 107th Congress, students from
Liberty Middle School spoke in the East Wing of the White House and
testified on the design and security of currency before the House
subcommittee on Domestic Monetary Policy, Technology, and Economic Growth.

The bill has received broad, bipartisan support, with praise coming from
the Military Order of the Purple Heart, The Wall Street Journal, and
Veterans of Foreign Wars of the United States. And once again the
"Liberty Bill Act" has been reintroduced in the House, sponsored by
Congressman Eric Cantor of Virginia.

The "Liberty Bill” would serve as a daily civics lesson for millions of
Americans who increasingly cannot name the rights guaranteed to them
under their own Constitution. It is Mr. Nader’s hope that citizens then
"might strive to hold their elected and appointed officials to these
ideals in practice, not just in the latter’s rhetoric.” An informed
populace is an empowered populace.

It has been ten years since the "Liberty Bill Act" was first introduced,
but it remains a strong example of how citizens can engage the
democratic process. Encouraging passage of the bill, Ralph Nader states,
"One can expect billions of conversations and debates arising from this
constructive use of space."

The one-dollar bill is redesigned approximately every ten years. Let’s
make this incarnation of the bill an educational, as well as fiscal, tool.

The Liberty Bill Act—HR 4856—deserves our support.