Rasmussen: Americans Believe Congress in the Dark Over Stimulus Contents

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On Tuesday, Rasmussen Reports released a telephone survey that shows the Americans have strong doubts about whether congressional lawmakers understand the content of the Stimulus Bill show prior to voting on it. According to the survey, which included the views of 1,000 likely voters contacted over Sunday and Monday, 58 percent of U.S. voters say most lawmakers will not understand what is in the plan before they vote on it. Only 24 percent believe most of Congress understands the contents of the 700-page-plus plan before they vote, with 19 percent not sure.

On one level this is really depressing. On the other, it’s probably an optimistic reading of the situation. How can members of Congress, much less the public, be expected to read, digest, and understand a bill of this complexity without having time to do it!? It’s ridiculous.

Sunlight has long advocated that all legislation be posted online for at least 72 hours before consideration in the House and Senate. This is a very simple, common sense idea: Posting bills online for 72 hours before consideration would give lawmakers and citizens alike an opportunity to consider and debate bills with full knowledge and consideration of the implications of the legislation with considered feedback from the public.

Please join us in asking President Obama to post the final Stimulus Bill on WhiteHouse.gov for five days before he signs it. (It looks like Congress will ignore our call to post it online before their consideration.) Go to the White House’s contact form to urge President Obama to post the final bill as approved by the House and Senate on WhiteHouse.gov. Please do it today, as this bill is moving very quickly.

Hat Tip: Glenn Reynolds.

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  • No, President Obama was voters who lived from about 1175 to 1250. You can take consideration from both of these somewhat contradictory arguments.

  • It was this very problem that spurred us to build the Stimulus Bill Explorer: http://stimulusbill.juiceanalytics.com/treemap/

    I believe some creative data visualization can go a long way to helping Congress and voters understand this type of complex legislation. Once the new stimulus bill is posted, we’ll update the data in our tool.