In recent years there has been a push for a 72-hour period before legislation is passed by Congress. It is referred to as “Read The Bill.”
In short, as implied above, this practice would allow congressional members and interested public the ability to actually read a bill before its passage. That is a good concept.
In the final days of the “Obamacare” Bill debate Republican John Boehner was a strong advocate of this policy change. Once he became Speaker, replacing Nancy Pelosi, his support seemed to fade. In the waning days of 2014 he actively sought to get what is known as the Cromnibus Bill passed with virtually no public access.
True accountability appears to be a sideline distraction when considered by those in power. It should not be that way!
The way Congress and the president should act is with complete openness! There is a way to make that happen. We have the technology. We can rebuild Congress to be better than what it is now.
Personally, as slow as Congress acts now in actually getting any real work accomplished, I would like to see an even longer period of time that a congressional bill must be public.
[For conversations sake lets say that for up-to every thousand words in a bill it must receive a minimum of 72 public access, plus an additional 24 hour for each thousand words. 1000 words in a bill is approximately three and a half pages. Hence, a bill containing 3000 words would require six days public access prior to passage.]
That is reasonable!
Let’s take it a bit further…because we have the technology.
Even Congress has a website. Any bill that is introduced should be required to be posted online as soon as (within 6 hours) it is “introduced.”
The congressional website would be readily accessible to all citizens for access. Would there be restrictions that Congress must live by” Yes!
- Each introduced bill would be required to have the earliest date and time by which it could be passed.
- Each bill would be open to public comment. (Zip codes only would be required for tracking purposes).
- The comments would be complied by the clerk as well as being sent to the respective Representative or Senator.
Information gleaned from the online access would be accumulated daily and updated. By this any member of Congress and the public in general could see immediately how many constituents supported or opposed a particular piece of legislation. That is what “representative” government is all about.
The way to achieve better and more representative government is to use technology as a real tool, and not simply as a pacifier.
For too long our federally elected officials have been locked into unworkable patterns. This is a Fresh Way to Look at Government.
That Is The Way I See It.