I have a serious request: Can anyone tell me, or point me to a source explaining why rider provisions on US legislation bills unrelated to the bill itself are considered legitimate and legal? This kind of thing seems to be common practice on both sides of the aisle, and seems to be completely counter-productive for the American public.
EDIT: Thanks to who put me on the right path, according to the VoteSmart.org section on bill debate:
House: [..] Amendments must be germane to the subject of a bill – no riders are allowed.
Senate: [..] Members can speak as long as they want and amendments need not be germane – riders are often offered. Entire bills can therefore be offered as amendments to other bills. Unless cloture is invoked, Senators can use a filibuster to defeat a measure by “talking it to death.”
In the instance above rather than attaching a rider or amendment during debate, they sent it back to committee for amendment, which seems like a loophole. On the whole, this still seems like an incredibly inefficient system.