New Push Wednesday to Post House Bills Online Before Lawmakers Vote on Them

This was one of the Obamessiah’s promises during the campaign: to make sure that all major bills coming up for a vote were posted online so that Americans would have five days to read them and comment or voice an opinion on them. Obama wins the election, then along comes the stimulus bill (a pretty major bill as I recall) and not only did we not get to view it, many (most) of those voting on it didn’t get a chance to read it either. Now someone is proposing a law that essentially does what Obama “promised” duing the campaign. I wonder if he will support it or try to claim credit for it?

From CNSNews:

Wednesday, September 23, 2009
By Susan Jones, Senior Editor
(CNSNews.com) – A Democrat has joined a Republican in trying to force action on a bill that would require the House to post the final text of major bills online at least 72 hours before voting on them.

The idea is to give Americans time to read legislation that may affect their lives and wallets.

In June, Reps. John Culberson (R-Texas) and Brian Baird (D-Wash.) introduced a resolution requiring the text of major bills to be posted online for at least 72 hours before they come up for a vote.

On Wednesday, Culberson, Baird and Rep. Greg Walden (R-Ore.) filed a discharge petition, a process used to force a bill out of committee. If the petition is signed by at least 218 House members, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi will be required to schedule the resolution for an up-or-down vote on the House floor.

“It’s just common sense: the American people should be given time to read major bills before they come to a vote in Congress,” House Republican leader John Boehner said in a blog posting on Wednesday.

Boehner said he has signed the discharge petition and he is urging his fellow lawmakers from both parties to do the same. According to Boehner’s office, this is the first time a Democrat has signaled that he would sign a discharge petition since the Democrats took charge of the House.

Boehner noted that previous Congresses, including those led by Republicans, have failed to give the American public time to read major bills before they are voted on. But he said the situation has been particularly “acute” over the past nine months:

“A pork-laden ‘stimulus’ spending bill, a debt-laden budget, a job-killing national energy tax and other bills have been rammed through the House by Speaker Nancy Pelosi without even allowing the American people to know what’s in the bills,” Boehner said.

“The collective cost has been astronomical, both in terms of the debt piled on our children and grandchildren and the astonishing amount of special-interest giveaways tucked inside.”

Baird and Culberson’s bill, H. Res. 554, would amend the Rules of the House of Representatives to require that non-emergency legislation and conference reports be available on the Internet for 72 hours before consideration.

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