President Obama is starting to do something Congress refuses to do. He is posting bills on-line for five days before signing them.
But this is just a token gesture. If you want real “change,” Congress must be more transparent in how it writes and signs bills before they pass. This is why we ask you to tell your representatives to pass the Read the Bills Act.
You can borrow from or copy this sample letter:
President Obama is finally beginning to implement his promise to post all bills for five days before he signs them. (http://www.cato-at-liberty.org/2010/07/02/obama-administration-moves-to-implement-sunlight-before-signing/)
I applaud this news, but it has only symbolic value. By the time the bill reaches the President’s desk, the die is cast. The bill has passed, and the President will sign the bill or veto as he chooses.
YOU are MY representative.
What we need is legislative transparency BEFORE bills pass Congress. A member of the House or Senate should have read the bill before he or she votes for it. Reading the bill is the BARE MINIMUM for understanding the intentions and ramifications of the bill.
Reading the bills shouldn’t be difficult for you:
- Clerks can read up to 40 pages per hour
- If you have a copy to follow along with, you can highlight any word, clause, or provision that you don’t understand or disagree with
- You could address your concerns in debate
Yet, I’m NOT represented now, when:
- Congress passes thousand-page bills you haven’t read
- I can’t read the bill, personally, and then give you my input
The Read the Bills Act would:
- encourage bills to be shorter and easier to read
- give “we the people” time to read the bill and give you our feedback
In this case, i urge you to follow the President’s example, and do even more! Post all bills online for SEVEN days BEFORE they come to a final vote — and do not vote to pass a bill you personally haven’t read.
Now is the time that you start representing me. Introduce the Read the Bills Act.
Introducing and supporting this bill cannot hurt your political career, because it’s a common-sense measure with which almost everyone agrees. In the long run, refusing to support the Read the Bills Act will only HURT elected officials who do not support it.
Your timely written response is appreciated.