Investor’s Business Daily: "Make spending bills public 72 hours before" (2/3/06)

Among needed steps is “a firm policy of …making spending bills public 72 hours before final votes.”

Editorial: “Small Change?”
February 3, 2006 Friday
Pg. A14

Republicans: It could have been worse. It could have been better. In choosing John Boehner as the new majority leader, the House GOP gives a nod — but maybe not much more — to reform.

What a new Republican leader can change is the party’s stance on issues that really matter in the long run — fiscal discipline and transparency. The Abramoff scandal is only one threat to the GOP’s majority in Congress. The much greater danger is that the public will decide, based on Republicans’ unrestrained spending, that the party has flunked its test of governance.

If nothing else, the party is in danger of losing a crucial battle this year on extending President Bush’s tax cuts. Tax hikes aren’t popular, but the Democrats — the party of higher taxes — can market them as a lesser of two evils if Republicans can’t hold back on spending. To his credit, Boehner has set a personal example on earmarks, refusing to add new spending without prior authorization even if it would benefit his own district. What he needs to do now is make his colleagues do the same.

That won’t be as easy. But such a step is needed. So is a firm policy of sticking to budget resolutions and making spending bills public 72 hours before final votes. Republicans voted this week as if they’re at least half-interested in reform. Boehner now has to show he’s 100% committed.”