(Some of) Congress Promises to Read Bills Before Voting


The conservative, non-profit group Let Freedom Ring has been circulating a Responsible Healthcare Reform Pledge to members of Congress lately. If they sign, lawmakers are promising not to vote for any bill that they have not read in its entirety and has not been made available to the public for at least 72 hours. So far, 82 members have signed on.

If only it were that easy. Most lawmakers have probably already made up their minds as to whether they are going to vote "yea" or "nay" when the time comes. Reading the 1,000 pages of text is unlikely to change that, but it's a valiant effort nonetheless.

Yesterday I blogged about how Obama promised transparency and then failed to deliver. Something tells me Congress won't be much better in that area.

More about the pledge and a complete list of signers here. If you don't see your Representative or Senator's name, be sure flood their office with emails and phone calls.


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  1. I’ll bet some of the signers haven’t even read the pledge.

  2. No signers from Illinois so far.

  3. I looked at the list of signers – lots of Reps – I’m guessing they expect to end up voting against the bill.

    The pledge is to read any health-care bill thoroughly before voting *for* it. If you vote *against,* then you don’t have to read it.

    People who don’t like the bill anyway will sign the pledge, because they no more intend to vote for the bill than to read it. They’ll rely on staff summaries and instructions from the party whips, like everyone else.

  4. Most lawmakers have probably already made up their minds as to whether they are going to vote “yea” or “nay” when the time comes.

    I’ve got not problem with a legislator voting no on a bill they haven’t read.

    I propose an olde tyme rule for this:

    No legislature may cast a vote in favor of any bill that hasn’t been read out loud on the floor of the legislator’s chamber, while the legislator was in attendance.

  5. Specifically, the pledge is to read any health care bill before ‘vot[ing] to enact’ it, which in the case of the Reps, will be just around the time Hell freezes over.

    So there’s a misleading headline here – Congress has *not* promised to read the bills before *voting.*

  6. I’m not signing this until I read it or someone gives me the jist of it.

  7. For fucks sake. So now the economy fails if we don’t fuck over health care.

    This seems like a bad political move to me.

  8. I saw a bunch of em on the teevee this afternoon warning against rushing a peice of legislation that may have negative consequences for the nation. (the health care reform house bill) I guess you finally find your spine and testicles and brain after your party loses power?

  9. 1000 fucking pages?!? That, right there, is a perfect example of what is wrong with our laws.

  10. For fucks sake. So now the economy fails if we don’t fuck over health care.

    Health care for some, free novelty bear doctor hats for all!

  11. It depends on what the meaning of “read” is. How about pledging to take a comprehension test before voting on (for) each bill and to resign if cluelessness is evident? Probably another 1000 pages would be required for such a meta-bill; but I imagine if it passed the pace of legislation would slow mercifully.

  12. If it is a short bill, they shouldn’t need 72 hours.

  13. How about requiring citizens read the thing before allowing any congress critter to vote on it.

  14. I have no problem with someone voting NO once they get far enough into the beast to know they cannot support it. If I’m a Congressman and page 5 has a provision in there that I know makes the whole thing stupid, I see no reason to read all 1000 pages. If page 5 sucks so bad, the remaining 995 pages couldn’t possibly change my mind, there’s no reason to go further. Amanda’s post said I only had to read the whole thing if I voted FOR it.

  15. If your Congressman hasn’t signed it you should video tape yourself asking him tough questions and post the answers to YouTube.

  16. Congresscritters can’t be expected to read. Most of those pukes are illiterate.

  17. Yawn. Just because a Congresscum has read the bill doesn’t mean it has comprehended the bill.

  18. You were saying, Russ 2000?

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