Nancy Pelosi promised the most honest, open, and ethical Congress in history. In June, Congressional Republicans introduced HR 554 to amend House rules to require legislation and conference reports be available on the Internet for 72 hours before consideration by the House, which would give the representatives and the public time to read a bill before it is voted on.
The American people should have time to read major bills before they come to a vote in Congress, but the bill sits on Pelosi’s desk because she won’t allow a vote.
In June, Reps. John Culberson (R-TX) and Brian Baird (D-WA) introduced a bipartisan resolution to require that all major bills be posted online at least 72 hours before they are they are voted on. I posted a similar proposal on a White House “transparency” website this summer – a site that allowed Americans to vote on the reforms they feel would make the biggest impact in terms of making government more accountable. My proposal got more votes than any other idea.
Thursday September 24, Reps. Greg Walden (R-OR), Culberson, and Baird filed a “discharge petition” in the House regarding the 72-hour review resolution. If the petition gets 218 House member signatures, Pelosi and Steny Hoyer will be required to schedule the resolution for an up-or-down vote on the House floor.
The day before, Culberson, Baird and Rep. Greg Walden (R-Ore.) filed a discharge petition, a process used to force a bill out of committee. If at least 218 House members sign the petition, Pelosi will be required to schedule the resolution for an up-or-down vote on the House floor.
According to House Republican Leader John Boehner’s office, this is the first time a Democrat lawmaker has agreed to sign a discharge petition since the Democrats took charge of the House in 2006.
Although previous Congresses have not given the public time to read major bills before they are voted on, the “pork-laden ‘stimulus’ spending bill, a debt-laden budget, a job-killing national energy tax and other bills” have made the debt situation so acute and the American people need to know what’s in them ahead of time, Boehner said.