Why Won’t Speaker Pelosi Post Bills Online for 3 Days Before a Vote?

Why won’t Speaker Pelosi post major bills online for at least three days before a vote? She’s in charge. Her party writes the bills. They decide when they’re voted on. They’re in complete control of Congress.

Aren’t they proud of the work they’re doing on behalf of the American people? Or at least willing to live up to their lofty promises of transparency and accountability, and let Americans read the bills?

Apparently not. As the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review writes in an editorial today, by “blocking a vote on a bill with bipartisan sponsorship that would require online posting of the final form” of major bills at least 72 hours before a vote, “what’s truly transparent is Democrats’ lack of — and disdain for — true transparency.” The Tribune-Review says this opposition “confirms that their legislative priority is unseemly haste, not good government.”

That’s why House Republicans are leading an effort to force Speaker Pelosi to hold a vote on this proposal. Rep. Greg Walden (R-OR) filed a “discharge petition” that only needs 218 signatures to bring the 72-hour resolution to a vote over the Speaker’s objections.

John Fund at the Wall Street Journal says “the notion of a 72-hour waiting period is anathema to Democrats who fear that they are running out of time to pass a sweeping health-care bill”:

“[I]t appears Democratic leaders in both houses of Congress have decided to ram a bill through as quickly as possible. On Wednesday, the Senate Finance Committee voted 12 to 11 to reject a proposal to require a 72-hour waiting period and a full scoring of the bill by the Congressional Budget Office before the committee casts any final vote. …”On the House side, Mrs. Pelosi has told reporters that members will have ‘a period of time that is sufficient’ to consider the final health-care language. But she clearly doesn’t want her hands tied. House leadership aides were stationed on the House floor where members must go to sign the 72-hour discharge petition. Mr. Baird acknowledged that leadership aides were strongly discouraging his fellow Democrats from signing. As of yesterday, 173 members had affixed their names, but they included only five of the 31 Democratic co-sponsors.”

 House Republican Leader John Boehner (R-OH) said in an interview last week that Democrats don’t want a 72-hour review period because they’ll “have a much harder time passing all this garbage” if the public can actually read the bills. And according to Congress Daily, Boehner also acknowledged that Republicans didn’t get the job done in the past and that it’s time to change how Congress works:

“When asked how the proposal squared with GOP management of the House during their recent 12 years of control, Minority Leader Boehner said, ‘It’s time to change a lot of things about how Congress works … whether we are the majority or the minority.'”

Show Speaker Pelosi and Democratic leaders that you’re tired of major bills coming to a vote without lawmakers or the public having read them. Sign the 72 Hour Petition today!

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