They still don’t read the bleeping bills!

Posted by: Phineas on July 2, 2012 at 9:03 pm

**Posted by Phineas

You would think after being embarrassed in front of the nation during the ObamaCare debates by the public revelation that many members don’t read the bills they’re voting on, or aren’t given the time to read them, that Congress might actually start taking the time to read at least major legislation.

You would be very, very foolish:

After blasting the Senate last week for passing a 600-page bill no one had time to read, Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) introduced legislation that would force the Senate to give its members one day to read bills for every 20 pages they contain.

“For goodness sakes, this is a 600-page bill. I got it this morning,” Paul said Friday, just before the Senate approved a massive bill extending highway funding, federal flood insurance and low student loans rates.

“Not one member of the Senate will read this bill before we vote on it,” he added.
Paul also introduced related legislation Friday, S. 3359, that would prohibit the inclusion of more than one subject in a single bill.

The highway-flood-student loan bill came up just one day before authorization for highway spending was set to expire, and two days before the interest rate on loans was set to double to 6.8 percent. But Paul said that is no excuse for rushing a bill to the floor without giving senators a chance to learn what’s in it.

He also noted that Senate rules require bills to be held for 48 hours before they receive a vote so members can read them, but said the Senate failed to follow even that minimal rule.

“At the very least, we ought to adhere to our own rules,” he said. “Forty-eight hours is still a challenge to find out everything in here.”

And yet these are the people who write our laws and increasingly govern the minutest details of our lives. 

What was it a sage once said about how one learns what’s in a bill? Oh, yeah…

Along with Senator Paul’s suggestion, I’ve thought all bills, save in an emergency or a national security matter, should be posted for three days on the Internet for public comment. Regardless, I find myself siding with Rand Paul more and more. I may not agree with him much on foreign affairs, but on domestic matters, it’s getting to be “not just yes, but hell, yes!”

via Reason, which has video.

(Crossposted at Public Secrets)

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11 Responses to “They still don’t read the bleeping bills!”


  1. Zippy says:

    I’m increasingly distressed by the powers that be, having lost faith in much of what is just slipping through right before our very eyes. Nothing is surprising any longer. Perhaps this is a better reason for them to have limits on their terms before they’re ousted.

  2. Great White Rat says:

    You would think after being embarrassed in front of the nation during the ObamaCare debates…that Congress might actually start taking the time to read at least major legislation.

    Wrong. No amount of malfeasance, misfeasance, or nonfeasance by Congress surprises me. They shrug off embarassments like this because so many of them, especially the Democrats, are in safely gerrymandered districts where an ignorant and unthinking electorate of sheep will send them back to DC no matter WHAT they do. The all-time classic example is Massachusetts voters sending that pustule Gerry Studds back to Congress about 30 years ago after he confessed to molesting children. But things haven’t changed much at all – tax cheat Charlie Rangel won his primary and is guaranteed re-election.

  3. Drew the Infidel says:

    The times of “sexcapades” such as those of Wilbur Mills (D-AR)and “The Argentine Firecracker” may have been half-way entertaining to read about, but such is not acceptable anymore. Six-term Congressman Richard Lugar (R-IN) is out and Orin Hatch (R-UT) got the scare of his political career this time. Scott Brown (R-MA) captured the “Kennedy seat” in the 2010 mid-terms. Times are changing. But all it takes is voter complacency and disinterest for politicians of questionable character (there are many) to start getting wrong ideas about their duties.

  4. PE says:

    Implicit in this report is a belief that the shameless can be shamed into the appearance of doing something proper. The reality is, even if all Senate Bills are read, we the people will still be dependent upon the kindness of psychopathic, self-serving idiots.

  5. The Borg says:

    There has to be something unconstitutional about the Congress not reading the bills. C’mon, not ONE part of the US Constitution can be used against this?

  6. redgypsy says:

    I think the founders probably didn’t address this problem because it was so patently obvious to them–of COURSE legislators are going to read the bill before they vote on it!!

    The founders apparently underestimated the greedy love of power that would become endemic in the legislators’ jobs.

  7. Tex says:

    This could work to our advantage. Now if we can just get someone to introduce a bill to have term limits on Congress, and give it a vague name, they might accidentally pass it without reading it.

  8. Drew the Infidel says:

    @Tex–You could be onto something with that idea. May I suggest an inconspicuous title such as “Pest Removal”?

  9. Great White Rat says:

    Great idea, Tex.

    The problem is that with this administration, the law and the Constitution are simply annoyances to be ignored anyway, so the law wouldn’t have any effect.

  10. Carlos says:

    @GWR: The way to avoid that problem is to make sure there is a huge bureaucracy set up to administer the program. There’s nothing those folks in Congress like more than being able to count on the bought votes of people who have jobs because they, the congresscritters, were benevolent enough to provide the jobs for them.

    In fact, as far as that goes, there’s nothing any politician at any level likes better than to buy the votes of newly-hired employees…

  11. mudguy says:

    The only rule Congress and the Senate will follow is that they are exempt from Obamacare. They can read that part!!!