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

Submitted by Rafael DeGennaro on Sun, 2006-03-19 22:53.

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 supports.

Below is an excerpt from the press release by Rep. King’s office:

In addition, King’s bill would simplify the lawmaking process for the public to see and give the public more time to contact their representatives before a bill is voted on. It requires any bill, resolution or conference report to be available on the internet to the
public at least 48 hours before a vote. Amendments must be available on the internet before they are voted on. Currently, some bills and
amendments are voted on without any public availability. It also calls
for posting the subject of debate and vote on the House Chamber wall, to make it easier for the public to follow what is happing in the Chamber.

“Making laws is a public process that requires input from the people it will impact. We must shine sunlight onto the process,” added King.

Perhaps the most interesting provision of the bill is the provision calling for posting the subject of debate on the House Chamber wall. To my knowledge, this is the first legislation introduced on this subject.