Hse reforms–other

Blue Dog budget reforms: Ensure Congress reads the bills

For the 110th Congress, the House Democratic Blue Dog Coalition has a 12-Point Plan for Budget Reform” that includes the following:
“9. Ensure that Congress reads the bills it’s voting on.”

The full plan follows:

The Blue Dog Coalition’s
12-Point Plan for Budget Reform

1. Require a balanced budget.

2. Don’t let Congress buy on credit.

3. Put a lid on spending.

4. Require agencies to put their fiscal houses in order.

5. Make Congress tell taxpayers how much they’re spending.

Legislation — Agenda

In January 2007, ReadtheBill.org respectfully requests that members of Congress do the following:

(1) Cosponsor the “72 hours online rule” reform resolution expected to be re-introduced in early 2007 by Rep. Brian Baird (D-WA)..
The top legislative priority for ReadtheBill.org is to get cosponsors for this resolution. During the previous, 109th Congress, this reform was H.Res. 688 and it attracted 36 cosponsors, including 34 Democrats.

ReadtheBill.org letter to House Dec. 11, 2006: Democratic gut check


December 11, 2006

110th Congress, Day 1 — Democratic gut check this week:
Will Democrats try to WEAKEN the House three-day rule?
Will Democrats implement their promises for rules improvements?

Dear Representative:

The House Republican majority had a horrible record of waiving the existing House three-day rule (Rule XIII and XXII) that says no bill or conference report may be considered until the “third calendar day” after it is made available to members. Under the Republican majority, the House routinely rubber-stamped huge mystery bills that nobody had read properly. It was a symptom of their arrogance, complacency and sloppiness that developed during 12 years and prompted voters to give the Democrats a chance to run the House of Representatives. It is therefore discouraging that it is an open question whether on Day 1 of the 110th Congress, the first thing Democrats will try is to WEAKEN the three-day rule! And whether their second step will be to break their promises for rules improvements.

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
C 202.577.5138

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

Rep. Steve King’s disappointing 48 hours online bill: Less time than current three-day rule

By Rafael DeGennaro, March 19, 2006 – 10:53pm.

Rep. Steve King introduced H.R. 4967 on 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. This is less time than required under the current three-day rule, though it is true that the three-day rule is routinely waived. This is such a disappointment, because H.R. 4967 clearly reflects some reform spirit.

I don’t understand why both House Democrats and Rep. King want to reduce the three days required under the current rules to 48 hours. That’s going backwards in time. Instead, the three-day rule should be modernized to require 72 hours, as does Rep. Brian Baird’s resolution, H.Res. 688, which ReadtheBill.org supports.

Disappointing House Dem reform packages: Less time than current rules

House Democrats introduced two major lobbying and congressional reform packages on Jan. 31 and Feb. 1, 2006. Each contains identical language on making bills available to members for 24 hours, or three days if a bill contains earmarks. While the bills embody other worthy reforms, ReadtheBill.org believes that the identical text on making bills available is too weak. Most importantly, neither bill requires posting bills online.

Republican Leader candidates answer "72 hours online" question

In mid-January 2006, Hugh Hewitt put the 72 hours online question to the three candidates for House Majority Leader. The question was prompted by blogger Mark Tapscott of the Heritage Foundation. Also, the question was discussed by the candidates on conference calls with bloggers as compiled at the Truth Laid Bear.

Reps. Bass & Flake support formalizing time bills available before floor

This letter urges a full debate reforms, including formalizing the duration of time … legislation is available for review before floor action is taken. The position in this letter is too weak, but indicates that there is interest among House Republicans in the general issue.)