House Resolution 554 is making it’s way through our US Congress.
The official summary of the resolution:
Amends Rule XIII (Calendars and Committee Reports) of the Rules of the House of Representatives to make it out of order in the House to consider a measure or matter until 72 hours (currently, until the third day) (excluding Saturdays, Sundays, and holidays unless the House is in session on such a day) after its text (and, if any, the text of all accompanying reports) have been made available to Members, Delegates, the Resident Commissioner (Members), and the general public. Requires the full text of the legislation and each committee report, without further amendment before floor consideration, to be posted continuously by means of the Internet. Prohibits consideration in the House of a general appropriation bill reported by the Committee on Appropriations until 72 hours (excluding Saturdays, Sundays, and legal holidays unless the House is in session on such a day) after printed hearings of the Committee have been available to Members. Prohibits the Committee on Rules from reporting a rule or order proposing a waiver of this resolution or of Rule XXII (House and Senate Relations) unless a question of consideration of the rule is adopted by a vote of two-thirds of the Members voting, a quorum being present. Amends Rule XXII (House and Senate Relations) to make it out of order in the House to consider a conference report, the accompanying signed joint explanatory statement, or a motion to dispose of a Senate amendment reported in disagreement by a conference committee until after:
- the 72-hour availability requirement has been met; and
- posting on the Internet. Declares that nothing in this resolution or any amendment made by it shall be interpreted to require or permit the declassification or posting on the Internet of classified information in the custody of the House. Requires such classified information to be made available to Members in a timely manner as appropriate under existing laws and rules. Expresses the sense of the House that, with the objective of preventing circumvention of this resolution, that the Committee on Rules should develop standardized policies and procedures to require that proposed amendments (except those offered under an open rule) that are major in size, scope, or cost be posted on the Internet for an appropriate number of hours.
US Representative Mike Pence (R-6th Indiana) has released the following statement:
Pence applauds bipartisan “Read the Bill” effort
WASHINGTON, DC – U.S. Congressman Mike Pence issued the following statement after Congressman Greg Walden (R-OR), Congressman John Culberson (R-TX) and Congressman Brian Baird (D-WA) began circulating a petition that would require the Democrat leadership in Congress to give Members of Congress and the American public 72 hours to review legislation before it is voted on in the House of Representatives:
“I encourage my colleagues to support this bipartisan effort to bring some transparency back to the legislative process. Members of Congress should read every major piece of legislation before casting their vote. Congress and the American people deserve three days to read the bills. This discharge petition is a critical step in the right direction. I am proud to support the effort of Representatives Greg Walden, John Culberson and Brian Baird.
“President Obama and Speaker Pelosi promised to bring transparency and accountability back to Washington. Over the last nine months this promise has been broken time and time again. It began with a flawed stimulus bill that the American public and House Members were not afforded time to read, and continued with the vote on the Democrats’ national energy tax. The American people are losing confidence in the work of their elected leaders as bills running longer than a thousand pages are rushed to the president’s desk without an opportunity for Members to learn what they are voting on. We have a responsibility to do better.”
You can follow this bill through either the Open Congress or Read The Bill websites.