Diary

ACTION: Tell Congress to Read the Bill Before Voting On It!

Can you read and comprehend a 451 page bill in under 24 hours? No.Well, then you probably wouldn’t want to be a member of Congress right now. The Senate just released their 451-page version of the Wall Street bailout bill and expect members to vote tonight. If our elected representatives are going to be tossing hundreds of billions of dollars around, the least they can do is read what their passing.

If you care about your representatives reading and understanding this legislation before they walk down that aisles of the Senate chamber for their “Yeas” and “Nays” please join the Sunlight Foundation in their petition to urge congressmen to allow a full 72 hours period to pass before a vote is held on the bill. A bill of this magnitude requires 72 hours for the public and their elected representatives to understand, discuss, and debate the myriad proposals squashed into one bill.

You can find and sign the petition here.

The Sunlight Foundation has long been a supporter of requiring all legislation to be posted online for at least 72 hours prior to a vote.

In support of this ideal, Sunlight has also posted copies of all of the proposed legislation to PublicMarkup.org, where the legislation is available for public review and comment. The current is Senate bill will be up for comment before the Senate votes today.

The current bailout legislation is only one example in the egregious practice of passing bills that have barely seen the light of day before votes have been cast. Just last week, a 1,000+ page continuing resolution, costing $630 billion, passed the House within a day of its introduction. Earlier this year, the Farm Bill, totaling a whopping 1,700+ pages, slipped through the House in under 24 hours. The Farm Bill was introduced on May 22nd and passed on May 22nd.

At some point the public has to stand up and demand that our lawmakers know what on earth they’re voting for. Now seems an appropriate time.

Join in asking your member of Congress to read this massive bill before they cast their vote. Let the bill be public for 72 hours!