Wednesday, October 7, 2009

1,363 Days

Who knows what will come of this, but I have to give credit where credit is due. We should applaud the moderate Democratic Senators who sent a letter to Harry Reid urging him to allow time for a serious commitment to transparency during the remainder of the process of creating the Health Care Bill.

The eight Senators call for 72 hours of public disclosure at three points: prior to the first vote on the Senate floor, prior to the vote on final passage of the bill in the Senate, and prior to the vote on final passage of the conference report in the Senate. Likewise, the senators call for CBO budget analysis at each of these three stages.

These are the senators who, for whatever reason, have chosen to take the issue of public disclosure seriously:
  • Blanche L. Lincoln
  • Evan Bayh
  • Mary L. Landrieu
  • Joseph I. Lieberman
  • Claire McCaskill
  • Ben Nelson
  • Mark L. Pryor
  • Jim Webb
The Senators express a clear understanding of the benefits of transparency:

Our constituents will have the opportunity to evaluate these policies and communicate their concerns or their message of support to their Members of Congress. As their democratically-elected representatives in Washington, D.C., it is our duty to listen to their concerns and to provide them with the chance to respond to proposals that will impact their lives. At a time when trust in Congress and the U.S. government is unprecedentedly low, we can begin to rebuild the American people's faith in their federal government through transparency and by actively inviting Americans to participate in the legislative process.

Of course it remains to be seen whether this letter from the eight Senators is a mere gesture, but I'm glad to see that they're moving in the right direction.

Not being one to give Congress too much credit, I suspect their appreciation for the value of sunlight came from numbers such as these:

  • Among U.S. voters, 83% say legislation should be posted online in final form and available for everyone to read before Congress votes on it.
  • Only 6% of voters disagree with this approach.
  • Of those who favor posting congressional bills, 64% say they should be available to the public at least two weeks before Congress votes.

Pundits note that this process of disclosure would add at least three weeks to any schedule for ramming Obamacare through the Senate, but with 1,363 days remaining until the health care bill would go into effect, 21 days is a drop in the bucket.

via Memeorandum


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DaBlade said...

I love the 6% that disagree with the full disclosure approach. Who are these people? Adding 3 days isn't much to ask for, except it blows there false urgency claims. All in all, it's just another brick in the wall and I'm afraid they will ram it through in the end. Despite Obama being an absolute buffoon, he still somehow owns a 50% job approval rating. I know this is down substantially, but that is depressing.

robert verdi said...

Transparency, thy name it not Obama.

Opus #6 said...

I recognize names on this list as targeted because they are on the senate finance committee. They have been flooded with tweets/faxes/calls to beg them to vote no on cloture. Thank goodness they are listening.

RightKlik said...

DaBlade: The 6% must be the hardcore statist and union bosses. Or maybe they're the 1 in 17 who don't listen to poll questions.

RV: No kidding! The Ayers story suddenly comes to mind.

O6: I noticed that too...and like you I find it hard to believe it's a coincidence. I suspect they wish this whole issue would just go away. Time to make more of these congresspeople wish for this thing to go away!

)O( said...

Just remember what goes around, comes around.
What happened in Chicago was not Omama's fault but America is the one that will suffer because of it.

WomanHonorThyself said... depressing my friend!.. PLEASE SAVE U.S. FROM OURSELVES!

RightKlik said...

Obama did fail to persuade the IOC...his arrogance turned them off.

I'm surprised you Obama supporters aren't happy for Brazil...don't they need this more than we do? Don't forget: Chicago was deeply divided on the question of whether they even WANTED the Olympics.

WHT: We'll keep trying!

Anonymous said...

I don't believe one damn word those lying sacks of crap say. I haven't seen one positive thing the Dems have done.

Left Coast Rebel said...

RK - Great post, I wa s reading the same thing today as well. Did Memeorandum pick this up too? Give me a head's up and I might help with that.....