Read the Bill is a Good Idea


I’m not a big supporter of ethics legislation because I don’t think you can legislate ethics. However, I do believe you can and should legislate transparency in government. To this end, there is a movement gaining ground, and I think it is a good one. According to two emails I received today, this is the basic premise:

The stimulus bill is the latest in the Congressional trend of not reading legislation before debating them. We all remember the struggle for transparency in the bailout legislation last fall. These two bills are just a few examples in a long line of legislation including, appropriation bills chocked full of earmarks.

There is no reason to stand for this any longer Congress should be required to post legislation online 72 hours before debate. Members of Congress, their staff, and the American people should be able to read the bill and understand what is in legislation before they debate it. These aren’t bills naming post offices; these are bills that affect our daily lives.

I can’t think of single good reason not to get on board with this. I’ve signed the petition, and I would encourage everyone who reads this blog, regardless of which side of the aisle you’re on to do the same. Here are a couple of videos to motivate you to action…

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CvnwOjDjnH4]

http://vimeo.com/moogaloop.swf?clip_id=3366620&server=vimeo.com&show_title=1&show_byline=1&show_portrait=0&color=&fullscreen=1
Read The Bill from Sunlight Foundation on Vimeo.

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