“This is how your Congress works.”

By mw | Related entries in Barack, Congress, Democrats, Stimulus

From the Obama website – On transparency:

Sunlight Before Signing: Too often bills are rushed through Congress and to the president before the public has the opportunity to review them. As president, Obama will not sign any non-emergency bill without giving the American public an opportunity to review and comment on the White House website for five days.

That is not going to happen with the stimulus bill.

On Feb 10, the House of Representatives unanimously passed a resolution with these instructions for the stimulus bill [From the Congressional Record]“:

Mr. LEWIS of California moves to instruct the managers on the part of the House that they shall not record their approval of the final conference agreement (as such term is used in clause 12(a)(4) of rule XXII of the Rules of the House of Representatives) unless the text of such agreement has been available to the managers in an electronic, searchable, and downloadable form for at least 48 hours prior to the time described in such clause.

That didn’t happen either.

This is what actually happened:



Not one of our Senators or Representatives who voted for the biggest spending bill in the history of the United States read it, nor did their staff, nor did they know what was actually in the bill when they voted for it.

Happy Valentines Day everyone! Send your Congressman and Senator some love.


This entry was posted on Saturday, February 14th, 2009 and is filed under Barack, Congress, Democrats, Stimulus. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

4 Responses to ““This is how your Congress works.””

  1. Nick Benjamin Says:

    You really should read the entirety of your quotes. Obama’s site said that non-emergency bills get 5 days review. This is an emergency bill. Unless you’re going to claim that we ain’t in the middle of an economic emergency Obama is doing precisely what he said he’d do.

    I’d like to point out that the conference committee read the entire bill. Everybody else had had weeks to look at the House version, and the changes the conference committee made were apparently quite easy to find and read as they were in handwriting.

    And the GOP didn’t seem to have any trouble reading not only the stuff in the bill, but also random emails from other departments. Such as that $30 million for mice BS, and the crazy lady who’s convinced giving doctors more information = ordering them to do stuff.

  2. mw Says:

    @Nick
    I understood/understand perfectly clearly that Obama’s rationalization for ramming this through without adequate time for anyone to understand or dispute the specific changes from conference is that this is an “emergency” bill.

    My opinion is that calling this an “emergency” bill that cannot even tolerate a few days delay for people to understand what is in it or legislators to read it, is complete bullcrap.

    The real reason why Obama is violating his presumed principles for “sunlight” on this bill, is so he can have a big PR signing ceremony on President’s Day. It was apparently not that big an emergency that he felt he needed to sign it the day is was passed on Friday. It was not a big enough emergency to sign the bill over the weekend. But it is just enough of an emergency that it must be signed on a holiday Monday, but yet too big an emergency to follow his own sunlight guidelines for a few more days. Did I get the calibration of the emergency right?

  3. Nick Benjamin Says:

    So you’re not happy that he’s only giving you three days to review the Bill before signing, rather than five?

    The bill can’t be implemented until Tuesday, therefore there’s no reason not to wait until Monday. Unless you want to pay Federal workers overtime for showing up on their holidays.

    Waiting until Wednesday would actually slow down the process. And he’d catch hell for waiting two days in the middle of an economic crisis.

    Nick

  4. Doug Mataconis Says:

    Nick,

    What about the fact that the final bill was only available for 18 hours before Congress voted on it.

    Why couldn’t have Congress have waited until after the President’s Day break to vote so that the public would have time to review it ?

    Perhaps it’s because they knew that the longer they waited, the bigger the risk that it bill wouldn’t pass.

    That’s not transparency I can believe in.

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