RELEASES (all)

PRESS RELEASE: Monsters from Congress — The scariest things you never read

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Tuesday, October 30, 2007
Contact: Rafael DeGennaro 202-544-2620
press |at| readthebill.org

MONSTERS FROM CONGRESS
Report shows Congress never reads omnibus appropriations bills

WASHINGTON, D.C. — As Congress prepares to consider another year-end catch-all spending bill, a new report shows members of Congress never read such bills or know what is in them. Under both Republican and Democratic leadership in recent decades, Congress has passed 1000-page conference reports with only a few hours or even minutes for review.

“These monster spending bills are the scariest things you never read,” said Rafael DeGennaro, a former congressional staff person who directs the organization ReadtheBill.org, which authored the report. “No human reads these thousand-page behemoths before they become the law of the land.”

States News Service: Congressman Baird Moves to Strengthen Existing House Rules (6/21/07)

Rep. Brian N. Baird, D-Wash. (3rd CD), issued the following press release:

As a constant advocate for a transparent and open Congress, Rep. Brian Baird (WA-03) today re-introduced legislation with Rep. Walter Jones (R-NC), to ensure that members have adequate time to review and read legislation before being brought up for a vote.

Common Cause endorses 72 Online concept

The non-partisan Common Cause endorsed the 72 Online concept.

Common Cause endorsed following standard statement:
“We support the 72 Online rule to require generally that legislation and conference reports be posted on the Internet for 72 hours before floor consideration in Congress.”

Note: Endorsers of the 72 Online concept do not necessarily support or oppose any legislation, nor agree with the views of ReadtheBill.org or other endorsers on specific legislation or other matters.

“Complicated bills need time to read and digest. The 72-hour rule makes sense. Requiring the bills to be posted on the Internet for public view gives all of us a chance to be involved in our own government and strikes a blow for democracy.”

— Chellie Pingree, President, Common Cause

Common Cause is a nonpartisan nonprofit advocacy organization founded in 1970 by John Gardner as a vehicle for citizens to make their voices heard in the political process and to hold their elected leaders accountable to the public interest.

National Taxpayers Union endorses 72 Online concept (4/18/06)

The non-partisan National Taxpayers Union (NTU) endorsed the 72 Online concept.

NTU endorsed following standard statement:
“We support the 72 Online rule to require generally that legislation and conference reports be posted on the Internet for 72 hours before floor consideration in Congress.”

Note: Endorsers of the 72 Online concept do not necessarily support or oppose any legislation, nor agree with the views of ReadtheBill.org or other endorsers on specific legislation or other matters.

“Legislators should at least have the courtesy to read their own bills before foisting them onto taxpayers as laws. Congress has relied on its own version of “stealth” tactics to evade basic budget principles and pass some of the most egregious earmarks. The 72 Online rule would provide citizen groups like NTU more time to thoroughly check the fiscal radar and detect these threats. This will greatly benefit the American taxpayer.”

–Kristina Rasmussen, Sr. Government Affairs Manager, National Taxpayers Union

NTU was established in 1969 to educate taxpayers, the media, and elected officials on a non-partisan basis on the merits of limited government and low taxes.

Taxpayers for Common Sense endorses 72 Online rule

The non-partisan Taxpayers for Common Sense (TCS) endorsed the 72 Online concept in April 2006.

The organization endorsed following standard statement:
“We support the 72 Online rule to require generally that legislation and conference reports be posted on the Internet for 72 hours before floor consideration in Congress.”

Note: Endorsers of the 72 Online concept do not necessarily support or oppose any legislation, nor agree with the views of ReadtheBill.org or other endorsers on specific legislation or other matters.

What they say

“The 72 Online rule could save taxpayers billions of dollars and would complement earmark reform. Any earmark that cannot stand 72 hours of online sunshine should be dumped into the waste basket.”

–Jill Lancelot, President, Taxpayers for Common Sense

Taxpayers for Common Sense is an independent voice for American taxpayers. TCS is dedicated to cutting wasteful government spending and subsidies in order to achieve a responsible and efficient government that lives within its means.

Families USA endorses 72 Online at Capitol Hill press conference (3/15/06)

Ron Pollack, Executive Director of Families USA (right), joins Rep. Brian Baird (D-WA) and Rafael DeGennaro, Founder & President of ReadtheBill.org (left) at the Capitol on March 15, 2006. Also speaking was Emily Skeketoff, Executive Director of the American Library Association’s Washington Office.
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ReadtheBill.org, Rep. Baird Call for Sunshine in Congress (3/15/06)

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Wednesday, March 15, 2006

CONTACT:
Rafael DeGennaro (ReadtheBill.org) 202-544-7960, [email protected]
Meghan O’Shaughnessy (Rep. Baird) 202-225-3536, meghan.o’[email protected]
Bernadette Murphy (ALA) 202-628-8410 ext. 8236 [email protected]
Geraldine Henrich (Families USA) 202-628-3030 [email protected]

ReadtheBill.org and Rep. Baird Want Sunshine in Congress,
Urge Passage of “72 Online” Rule by Election Day

Washington, DC – ReadtheBill.org and Rep. Brian Baird (D-WA) today announced a campaign to persuade Congress to post legislation and conference reports online for 72 hours before floor consideration in Congress. Joined by the American Library Association and the health consumers organization Families USA, they called on Congress to pass a 72 Online rule by Election Day.

Pass Rep. Baird’s 72 Online Resolution by Election Day (2/17/06)

For Immediate Release: February 17, 2006
Contact: Rafael DeGennaro (202) 544-2620 x102


ReadtheBill.org: House Should Approve Rep. Baird’s 72 Online Resolution by Election Day

(Washington, D.C.) – ReadtheBill.org called on the U.S. House of Representatives to approve by election day a resolution by Rep. Brian Baird (D-WA) to require that all proposed legislation be posted on the Internet for 72 hours before it comes up for floor debate.

“It’s time to stop passing bills in the dead of night that nobody has read,” said Rafael DeGennaro, Founder and President of ReadtheBill.org. “We want sunshine at the Capitol by November. Any member of Congress who opposes this 72 online reform is part of the problem in Washington, D.C.”

Taxpayer Group Co-Founder Launches New Good-Government Effort (1/17/06)

For Immediate Release: January 17, 2006

Contact: Rafael DeGennaro (202) 544-2620 x102


ReadtheBill.org Aims to Require All Bills Online 72 Hours Before Congress Floor Debate

(Washington, D.C.) – Rafael DeGennaro, who worked six years as a Congressional staff member and went on to co-found Taxpayers for Common Sense, announced today the launch of ReadtheBill.org, a new organization advocating all federal legislation be posted online 72 hours before coming to the floor of Congress.

Research tip on Rafael DeGennaro’s change of first name in 2001

Research note: In June 2001, DeGennaro changed his first name from “Ralph” to “Rafael”, after his Italian grandfather. To research DeGennaro’s activities before June 2001 (e.g., as President of Taxpayers for Common Sense from 1995-2001), search “ralph degennaro” in Nexis or Google.