Published on ReadtheBill.org (http://www.readthebill.org)

Roll Call (Capitol Hill): 72 online reform at “top of list” (1/18/06)

The day after ReadtheBill.org was launched publicly, Roll Call newspaper editorialized: “Except in real emergencies, bills should be open for inspection – online as well as on paper – at least 72 hours before they are voted on.”

ROLL CALL Editorial:
“Beyond K Street” [1]
January 18, 2006

We’re generally delighted to see that a lobbying-reform bidding war is under way in the wake of the Jack Abramoff scandal. But this suddenly aroused Congress should not stop with a K Street cleanup. It ought to make changes in its own procedures that abet chicanery.

At the top of the list is the House GOP practice of voting a measure out of a committee one day, pushing it through the Rules Committee the same night and rushing it to the floor the next day, with no chance for Members or the public to read it. Except in real emergencies, bills should be open for inspection – online as well as on paper – at least 72 hours before they are voted on.

This is a variation on one proposal made in December by four Democrats led by Rep. David Obey (Wis.) that was generally dismissed by Republicans. But now that the GOP has been scared into reform mode, there’s an opportunity for bipartisan thinking on ways to clean up Congress, regardless of who is in the majority.

(emphasis added)


Source URL:
http://www.readthebill.org/newsroom/2006/01/18/rollcall/beyond-k-street