“I love these members, they get up and say, ‘Read the bill,’” said Rep. John Conyers. “What good is reading the bill if it’s a thousand pages and you don’t have two days and two lawyers to find out what it means after you read the bill?”
That’s an elected member of Congress explaining why lawmakers shouldn’t bother themselves with reading bills. It’s just too gosh-darned difficult. And who’s ever heard of lawyers working in congressional offices? Not me, no way.
Seriously, as a representative of a district, congressmen should know what they are voting on and, if they need help, they employ people who can help them read the bills and inform their decision-making process on behalf of their constituents.
Rep. Conyers appears to have disdain for this notion. It makes me wonder about two things. When the Democrats won back control of Congress in 2006 their proposed ethics reform package included a Read the Bill section. The committee with jurisdiction over the reform process was headed by Conyers. Did his disregard for bill reading leave this section on the cutting room floor? Also, this video from Michael Moore’s “Fahrenheit 9/11” has a completely different context now: Go to ReadTheBill.org and tell your congressman that you don’t agree with Rep. Conyers. Tell them that they should support a 72 hour rule for placing all bills online.