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

Disappointing Senate Dem reform package S. 2180: Post conference reports online 24 hours

Senate Democrats introduced a major lobbying and congressional reform package on Jan. 20, 2006. The bill embodies other worthy reforms, and also contains language requiring posting conference reports online for 24 hours. ReadtheBill.org believes that this language is too weak.

THE BILL
House Democratic Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) introduced a major reform package on Jan. 20, 2006 with 34 original cosponsors. This bill, S. 2180, addresses numerous issues. Title V concerns “Open Government”. ReadtheBill.org focuses on “Sec. 503. AVAILABILITY OF CONFERENCE REPORTS ON THE INTERNET.”

READTHEBILL.ORG VIEW
ReadtheBill.org commends Sen. Reid for including the section addressing this issue, and especially for requiring the posting on the Internet (as opposed to just making the text available to the members). But ReadtheBill.org believes this section is still too weak because it would: (1) not include regular bills when first considered in the Senate, at which time they are easier to stop or fix; and (2) only post conference reports for 24 hours, which is too short a time to digest a big bill and sound the alarm.

SUMMARY
A conference report could not be considered in the Senate unless it had been posted on the Internet for 24 hours before its consideration, as well as made available to the members.


FOLLOWING IS THE FULL TEXT OF SECTION 503 OF s. 2180:

SEC. 503. AVAILABILITY OF CONFERENCE REPORTS ON THE INTERNET.

Rule XXVIII of all the Standing Rules of the Senate is amended by adding at the end the following:
‘9. It shall not be in order in the Senate to consider a conference report unless such report is available to all Members and made available to the general public by means of the Internet for at least 24 hours before its consideration.’.

[END OF SECTION 503.]


Source URL:
http://www.readthebill.org/s218020060120