Tomorrow morning at 11:30 a.m. Eastern, the Sunlight Foundation joins Blogher in moderating a conference call with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi about health care. Blogger participants will have the chance to talk to Pelosi directly and ask her about issues deeply affecting their lives.
Pelosi has already committed to posting the final version of health care legislation for 72 hours before it comes to a vote. I hope to ask her how she plans to handle the longer term issue of lobbying disclosure reform, given what we’ve seen in recent weeks with the health care lobby wars going at full blast.
To sign up to ask your own question, click here. Or if you’d like me to ask something, please let me know in the comments section below.
This call is the fourth in a series, which has also included Rep. George Miller, Rep. Cathy McMorris Rogers, and Sen. Amy Klochubar. All have spoken out about the importance of transparency in the health care debate and beyond. Here is Rep. Miller, exerpted from a transcript of a call last week:
Nancy Watzman: And I’d like to ask you a very quick question as representative of the Sunlight Foundation which cares very much about transparency in government. I’m wondering what will you see transparency playing in this, you know, in the debate and what role you think it should play?
George Miller: Well, you know, I think it’s a very important part of this debate. As you know when we finally passed the three bills prior to the August break they were up on the Internet.
My Committee site, my personal site got an exceptional number of hits from people who either read it or in fact downloaded it. It was quite amazing the number of – numbers of people who downloaded it.
And I assume the other committees and the speaker site and other sites in the Congress got those same kinds of requests. As we now near the end of this process, when this bill is finalized, I mean, as I said earlier we’re going to go to the Congressional Budget Office, we’ll get new costs and then we’ll have to make changes according to that.
And then when we’re ready to introduce the bill, when the bill’s introduced that bill will be on the Internet for 72 hours. And if there is a manager’s amendment which would be – usually it deals with making relatively small changes but it could be some other issue that pops up.
And if that manager’s amendment – when it is approved by the Rules Committee that will also have to be on there for 72 hours. So in my, you know, ordinarily around here you introduce the bill.
That bill would be on the Internet for 72 hours. During that time you might be putting together a manager’s amendment so – and that manager’s amendment is approved by the Rules Committee.
Another 72 hours would run so you can see here spaces of time, you know, made – whether it’s two 72-hour periods or something – somewhat longer than that. But the final drafts of the bill and the manager’s amendment will both be available on the Internet for that period of time. Speaker Pelosi is committed to that and the rest of the issue is committed to that.