In its haste to stop economic hemorrhaging, Congress rushed the Stimulus Bill through both chambers without bothering to read it.
Very few members of Congress actually read legislation before a vote is taken. Unfortunately, the same is true for state legislatures. All too often, legislators rely on lobbyists or caucus leadership for information about pending legislation.
Below, I have posted a letter I received from the Sunlight Foundation and a copy of a petition to Congress to implement a 72 hour publication rule before Congress votes on a bill. I urge you to sign this petition today.
Our fears have materialized about what happens when no one reads legislation. Now we have proof that 13 hours wasn't enough time to read the 1100 page Stimulus Bill. Reports have emerged that Senator Dodd, at the behest of the administration, inserted an unnoticed loophole that allowed AIG employees to receive exorbitant bonuses.
I am certain that if Congress had put that legislation online for 72 hours before it was considered -- if they had a chance to read it, or if you did -- someone might have caught that last minute loophole. That's why we want you to sign the petition to urge Congress to Read the Bill:
It's ridiculous that members of Congress don't read the legislation they vote on, but with your help, we can tell Congress that we expect it to do its job. Most people don't know that lawmakers fail to read the bills they vote on. We need your help to change this. Forward this email onto your friends and ask them to sign the Read The Bill petition.
Thanks, Ellen Miller
Executive Director, Sunlight Foundation
P.S. Read more about the AIG bonus loophole at the Sunlight Foundation blog.