Too often, controversial bills have been voted on mere hours after coming to the House or Senate floor. Typically, there had been no time for members of Congress to read the bill, and no chance for interested citizens to weigh in on the legislation.
ReadTheBill.org’s mission is to strengthen our democracy by making sure elected officials and citizens have the chance to read and understand legislation. A more transparent government begins with providing the people with the opportunity to tell their elected officials what they think of a piece of legislation, before it comes up for a vote. All non-emergency legislation should be online for at least 72 hours before moving to the House floor.
We’ve recently scored a huge victory for the Read the Bill campaign and the 72 hour rule. With your help, in January 2011, the new Congress passed rules that make it far more likely that we will be able to read bills before they are considered on the House floor. This is a big step forward, but we need to continue to hold Congress accountable and make sure that bills stay public and online for 72 hours before a vote.
Going forward, we’ll work on ways to monitor bills and make sure that Congress isn’t using loopholes to avoid this step for transparency and accountability. We hope you’ll join us.