Read the Bill: Tap the Brakes Already


Congress is like the Beltway. Sometimes it’s impassible gridlock; so slow that nothing seems to move at all. Other times it moves so fast you barely knew you were on it. Right now, we’re going the too-fast-to-pay-attention speed.

With outrage boiling over about millions of dollars worth of retroactive bonuses awarded to AIG executives, the House voted today 328 to 93 to get most of the cash back by taxing the recipients for 90 percent of what they received. (Here’s the text of the bill.) Maybe this is a good way around the argument that the government must pay the bonuses because they’re obligated contractually.

But why such a rush? The bill, introduced by Rep. Charlie Rangel (D-NY), yesterday, was available less than a day before lawmakers voted on it. Shouldn’t Congress–and the public–get more time to read the bill?  After all, it was because Congress was in a hurry before that it got itself into such a mess in the first place.

Unfortunately, just like the Beltway, it keeps going round-and-round-and-round. To end this cycle, go to and sign the Read the Bill petition calling for all bills to be placed online for 72 hours prior to consideration.