Read the Bill Becoming the Norm

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Check out this line from Jay Newton-Small’s Swampland blog post on the way forward for health care reform in the House:

Once they have a bill, Dems need to post it online for at least 72 hours for members to review before a vote.

The fact that reporters covering Congress are stating that the Majority “needs” to post the bill online for 72 hours shows how far the Read the Bill effort has gone. As this policy has become the norm it is increasingly clear how important legislative information is to both individual members of Congress and ordinary people.

Congress should still pass a rules change to require the 72 hours reading time to make the policy enforceable. Still, you’ve shown Congress that people out there want to be able to read legislation and be assured that their representatives have enough time to read and study the bills.

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  • Congratulations Sunlight!

    We’ve got “reporters ..stating .. the Majority “needs” to post the bill online for 72 hours!”

    Ok Who is next?

    Can we get the Media to include Bill numbers in articles about Legislation, so that readers can search the actual text or better yet link directly to it.
    Such a practice would certainly dissuade SPIN, when every reader can more easily validate?

    Can we get Congress members saying “When I read the details of the bill… It does not match the Title nor the rhetoric in the media… therefore my decision is too…” ?

    Can we get Legislative Advocates to include Bill numbers, link to the text, and SHARE Congressional Co-sponsors and Blockers?

  • As long a we just stop the padding of bills with nonsense in the middle of the night it’s a win.

  • I certainly agree that we’ve seen some real progress here.

    But is it enough? Is it feasible that more Members and the public will use the 72 hours to (somehow) digest and provide input on the monstrous and complicated bills we’re seeing?

    Is it possible to extend this very worthy initiative beyond merely making a bill publicly available, to promote measures that will (somehow) encourage Members and the public to use this access time to actually read and understand it?