The Olympian (Olympia, WA): H.Res. 688 a "terrrific idea" (3/7/06)

House Resolution 688 is “a terrific idea that Congress should adopt as part of a comprehensive package to regain the public’s trust in the wake of corruption allegations.”

“Put bills online before vote”
Our Views
March 7, 2006
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Rep. Brian Baird, a Democrat from Vancouver … has called on Congress to pass House Resolution 688, which would require that bills be posted on the Internet 72 hours prior to a floor vote. It’s a terrific idea that Congress should adopt as part of a comprehensive package to regain the public’s trust in the wake of corruption allegations.

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Hasty consideration of legislation without proper vetting is part of the reason Congress is held in such low esteem by members of the public. Lawmakers and the public are not well served by legislation rammed through in the middle of the night with minimal scrutiny.
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What Baird’s proposed rule does is empower the public and provides citizens with an opportunity to voice their opinions BEFORE legislation is adopted. It also gives members of Congress time to look for serious flaws before they vote. Imagine that, school superintendents and parents being able to read No Child Left Behind before it’s voted upon. Imagine Medicare parents brought into the loop before the prescription drug bill is passed.

It’s not too much to ask in a democratic society.

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