Congressman’s 72 Hour Rule Suggestion Is Inadequate

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In response to the growing support for a discharge petition to force a vote on the Read the Bill bill, Rep. Tim Walz is circulating a “Dear Colleague” letter asking Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Majority Leader Steny Hoyer to enforce the already existing 72 hour rule.

The House Rules require that all bills be publicly available for 72 hours prior to consideration. This is rule is frequently waived by the Rules Committee at the behest of leadership and has been for many years. There is no requirement in the “Dear Colleague” letter that Speaker Pelosi and Majority Leader Hoyer enforce the rule, simply a suggestion. This is one reason to support the passing the Read the Bill bill over this “Dear Colleague” letter. The 72 hour rule should be written into the Rules, not left to the whim of the leadership.

Another reason to support the Read the Bill bill is that the current, oft-waived 72 hour rule simply states that bills be made publicly available. There is no specification as to what defines “publicly available.” It has always been Sunlight’s belief that public equals online. To ensure that Congress defines public as online Rules need to be altered to specify where bills will be made publicly available. The Read the Bill bill does this by requiring online posting of bills for 72 hours before consideration.

Help us support the 72 hour rule by getting your congressman to support the Read the Bill bill.

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  • Barney

    Janet, you really are a fool if you think this is a free country. We began loosing our freedom’s when FDR was elected and elected and elected, along with a majority of democrats in congress! Go back and read about his “NRA” and how the supreme court laughed that out of existence.
    We lost more when LBJ got his hooks into the white house. What ever happened to the “Great Society”?
    Remember the government is suppose to be evenly divided.
    Remember also that he had a “rubber stamp” congress? Then came Clinton, He was so busy with women in closets and under desks that he didn’t have much time to screw the country. Now we have Obama and another rubber stamp congress, really, WHAT DO YOU EXPECT?

  • JANET

    72 HOURS.
    IF THE BILL IS OVER 1000 PAGES
    WE SHOULD HAVE SEVERAL MONTHS TO READ THE BILL.
    WHAT COUNTRY PASSES A BILL WITHOUT READING IT?
    THIS IS A TAKE OVER BY THE GOVERNMENT.
    CAN’T WAIT TO VOTE AGAIN.
    WHY CAN’T I BE HEARD.
    THIS IS A FREE COUNTRY.
    DOES’NT THE GOVERNMENT WORK FOR US?
    WHY WON’T THEY LISTEN TO THE VOICE OF THE PEOPLE?
    JUST BECAUSE PRESIDENT OBOMA WANTS TO PASS THIS GOVERNMENT HEALTH CARE.
    DOES NOT MEAN HE CAN IGNORE THE PEOPLE OF THE UNITED STATES.
    I’M STARTING TO BELIEVE HE WAS ELECTED BECAUSE ACORN CASTED FAULSE VOTES OR PAID PEOPLE TO VOTE FOR OBOMA.
    NOW THERE SHOULD BE A LAW AGAINST THAT.
    WHAT IS THE HURRY TO PASS ALL THESE BILLS ANYWAY?
    AREN’T YOU SUPPOSE TO LOOK SOMETHING OVER BEFORE YOU BUY IT?
    THE PEOPLE DO NOT HAVE JOBS
    CAN NOT BANK WITHOUT MONEY
    CAN’T BUY A HOME
    OR CAR.
    CONGRESS BETTER GET TO SPENDING THEIR OWN MONEY TO GET US OUT OF THIS MESS.
    FEED UP