Domestic social

Families USA endorses 72 Online rule

Families USA endorsed the following statement in March 2006:

“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.


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. Full size version

What they say

“The 72 Online concept would restore the public’s opportunity to review the legislation and to express their concerns to Congress before the vote. It would also make it difficult for members of Congress to hide behind the excuse of not being aware of the contents of a bill before voting on it.”

Ron Pollack, Executive Director & Vice President, Families USA

Terms:

Health policy organizations endorse 72 Online rule

The following organizations have endorsed the following 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.

Selected endorsing organizations include:
Families USA

National, regional and local organizations and businesses are invited to endorse the 72 Online rule.
About this list. Add your organization.

What they say

“It’s just crazy that Congress passes important bills affecting health policy without really reading them. The 72 Online concept is a step toward sanity. Also, it’s vital that state officials and staff have a few hours to look over federal legislation before they’re stuck with implementing it.”

–Joseph J. Bevilacqua, ReadtheBill.org Board Member & formerly State Commissioner of Mental Health Services in Rhode Island, Virginia and South Carolina (1975-1996).

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Senate immigration deal text not available

By Rafael DeGennaro, May 18, 2007 – 1:38pm.

For those who thought electing a Democratic Senate majority would completely solve the problem of lack of adequate time to read bills, the absent immigration deal text is a bad omen. The text is not available Friday even though floor debate will begin early next week.

On Thur., May 17, senators held a press conference to announce the deal. Sen. Edward Kennedy (D-MA) said, “Language will be available, we’re hopeful, by mid- or late afternoon or first thing in the morning. We had set that so Friday, so people will be able to go on over that, and we start in on Monday.” But Friday, May 18 at 11 AM, Kennedy’s deputy communications director told me that the text would not be introduced until Monday, and would not be available before then.

This is a complex topic, but that is no excuse for beginning Senate floor debate on major legislation without giving the public (or even senators) time to read the bill text properly.

H.R. 5432 – MINER Act

Summary:
NO PROCEDURAL OBJECTION. This bill, scheduled for consideration during the week of June 6-9, has been available in its Senate form for over two weeks.

Medicare drug mess: Rep. Baird was right in 2003

CONGRESSIONAL RECORD Excerpt featuring the remarks of Rep. Brian Baird (D-WA)

WAIVING POINTS OF ORDER AGAINST CONFERENCE REPORT ON H.R. 1, MEDICARE PRESCRIPTION DRUG, IMPROVEMENT, AND MODERNIZATION ACT OF 2003 — (House of Representatives – November 21, 2003)

Mr. BAIRD. Mr. Speaker, at the beginning of this debate, the distinguished chairman of the Committee on Rules pointed out that this is one of the most important bills we have faced possibly in our careers. Indeed, he is correct. Yet, we are given less than 24 hours to consider this. The most important bill in our careers, 24 hours to consider it.