GOP Takes a Stand for Transparency


There’s a bit of irony in this story.

House Republican leaders are calling for Democrats to post the stimulus bill, the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009, online immediately. In a letter sent to Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Majority Leader Steny Hoyer, the GOP leaders write that having the bill online would allow citizens to study its contents before Congress agrees to it and the president signs it into law. The GOP leadership is correct to, on behalf of the American people, claim the right “to see each provision of this legislation and evaluate the merit of each dollar of government spending their children and grandchildren are being required to fund.”

Too bad they haven’t always been for such transparency.

Since inception, Sunlight has been calling for exactly this sort of openness. We think all legislation should be posted on line for 72 hours before debate. We’re hoping now that alot of Republicans will sign onto this measure when it’s reintroduced in this Congress.

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  • What should be clear from the interaction already, is that unnecessary slights like that one distract from the main point of an otherwise great post.

  • Soda

    The party in power has always opposed transparency – because it’s bad for their power.

    As we see manifested in this thread, talking about it as if it has to do with Republicans vs. Democrats is just a needless and controversial distraction.

  • What Ellen is saying is actually accurate. When the Republicans were in the majority they slammed bills through in less than a day’s time with no time given to members to read the bill. I don’t see how it’s sarcastic to state such a fact.

    Everyone remembers the Patriot Act, the abuse of power around the Medicare prescription drug bill, and various other pieces of legislation shoved through without nary a moment of consideration. (Mind you Democrats ran against this in 2006 and then did the same thing.)

    Nearly every Congress, for a few years, Rep. Brian Baird has introduced legislation to solve this problem but it hasn’t been supported under the Republicans or the Democrats. Majority parties always use the rules to their advantage. It’s good to see Republicans pushing this and Democrats trying to be more transparent in the majority (I’m thinking of Steny Hoyer’s insistence that certain bills be available for over 48 hours) despite neither party having the credibility.

  • please

    Ellen please leave the sarcasm aside, Dem’s aren’t all for openness either

    “Too bad they haven’t always been for such transparency.”

    otherwise your just not helping