H.R. 4967 by Rep. Steve King: 48 hours isn’t enough time

Rep. Steve King introduced H.R. 4967 in March 2006. The bill contains some tough provisions on a variety of subjects. Unfortunately, it would only require bills to be posted online for 48 hours.

Below is a press release from Rep. King’s office:

Representative Steve King
5th Congressional District of Iowa

CONTACT: Summer Johnson
202.225.4426
C 202.577.5138
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE March 16, 2006

King: show us the money in politics
King Introduces Sunlight Act to Shine Light onto Law-making

WASHINGTON — U.S. Congressman Steve King is calling on his colleagues
to put their votes where their newspaper headlines are and support his
bill to open law-making to expose financial interests and make it easier for the public to observe the process and be involved.

This week, King introduced the Sunlight Act, H.R. 4967, which would
require privately-funded Congressional travel to be pre-approved by the Committee on Standards and require the travel to be reported within five days to the public through the internet.

“Show us the money in politics,” said King. “The only way we can have a government truly responsive to the people is to arm people with
information.”

The Sunlight Act would also require financial disclosures filed by
Members of Congress and staff to specifically detail their financial
interests. Currently, financial disclosure forms only require public
officials to disclose their financial assets in broad dollar amount
ranges. For example, the current form allows officials to disclose their assets in a category as broad as: $100,001 – $250,000, $250,001 – $500,000, $500,001 – $1,000,000, $5,000,001 – $25,000,000, $25,000,001 – $50,000,000 or “Over $50,000,000.” The King bill requires an exact amount.

In addition, King’s bill would simplify the lawmaking process for the
public to see and give the public more time to contact their
representatives before a bill is voted on. It requires any bill,
resolution or conference report to be available on the internet to the
public at least 48 hours before a vote. Amendments must be available on the internet before they are voted on. Currently, some bills and
amendments are voted on without any public availability. It also calls
for posting the subject of debate and vote on the House Chamber wall, to make it easier for the public to follow what is happing in the Chamber.

“Making laws is a public process that requires input from the people it will impact. We must shine sunlight onto the process,” added King.

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