[...] At town hall meetings across the country this past summer, the main topic was health care, but there was a strong undercurrent of anger over the way Congress rushed through passage of the stimulus, global warming and bank bailout bills without seeming to understand the consequences. The stimulus bill, for example, was 1,100 pages long and made available to Congress and the public just 13 hours before lawmakers voted on it. The bill has failed to provide the promised help to the job market, and there was outrage when it was discovered that the legislation included an amendment allowing American International Group, a bailout recipient, to give out millions in employee bonuses.
"If someone had a chance to look at the bill, they would have found that out," said Lisa Rosenberg, who lobbies Congress on behalf of the Sunlight Foundation to bring more transparency to government.
The foundation has begun an effort to get Congress to post bills online, for all to see, 72 hours before lawmakers vote on them.
"It would give the public a chance to really digest and understand what is in the bill," Rosenberg said, "and communicate whether that is a good or a bad thing while there is still time to fix it."
A similar effort is under way in Congress. Reps. Brian Baird, D-Wash., and Greg Walden, R-Ore., are circulating a petition among House lawmakers that would force a vote on the 72-hour rule.
Nearly every Republican has signed on, but the Democratic leadership is unwilling to cede control over when bills are brought to the floor for votes and are discouraging their rank and file from signing the petition. Senate Democrats voted down a similar measure last week for the health care bill. [...]
Where is the transparency that was promised? What a pack of liars.
To be fair, the article also points out that Republican's, when they held a majority, did a similar thing with the Patriot Act. How dare ANY of our politicians withhold transparency from us?