It’s one of the slickest bait-and-switch maneuvers in recent congressional history. The proposed Innovation Act (H.R. 9) is supposed to target only patent trolls. But, as the National Venture Capital Association and 144 major universities warn, the bill’s poorly-drafted provisions would actually undermine the startups and small businesses responsible for nearly all breakthrough innovation and job growth in the U.S.

As Rhode Island Senators Sheldon Whitehouse and Jack Reed and Representatives James Langevin and David Cicciline, all Democrats, wade into the debate, there are certain things they should keep in mind.