Thursday, July 22, 2010

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July 22, 2010
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Hoyer Dismisses Americans’ Call for “Read the Bill” Reform as “Unreasonable,” “Not Relevant”
Posted by Kevin Boland on July 22, 2010

In a jarring reminder of the out-of-touch arrogance of the Democratic majority in Washington, the second most powerful Democrat in the House, Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-MD), today publicly mocked suggestions that reforms should be adopted in Congress that would prohibit the House from considering any bill that has not been publicly available on the Internet for at least three days, calling the idea “unreasonable” and “not relevant.”

The idea was posted on today by House Republicans in response to calls from millions of Americans for such reform in Congress. Americans can go to the link, vote on the idea, make comments, and post ideas of their own for reforming Congress.

The Hill has the details about Majority Leader Hoyer’s curt dismissal of the idea: “House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-Md.) ridiculed on Thursday an effort pushed by Republicans to allow lawmakers more time to read legislation. Hoyer dismissed a proposal by House GOP Leader John Boehner (Ohio) and other Republicans to require 72 hours to read legislation before a final vote on it is scheduled.

Boehner launched a ‘read the bill’ effort on Thursday to promote the GOP's proposed reform, which the minority leader has said would be a key reform he'd make should he become speaker of the House.“‘His hypothetical is so unreasonable ... that it doesn’t bear commenting on,’ Hoyer said, mocking Republicans' chances of taking back the House in this fall's elections, a development which would make Boehner speaker. ‘This is beating a drum that's not relevant,’ the second-ranking House Democrat said.

”Most Americans would beg to differ with Leader Hoyer’s assessment. In fact, a Sunlight Foundation petition endorsing a “72 hour rule” has received support from groups which represent both ends of the political spectrum. As House Republican Leader John Boehner (R-OH) said today, “One of the reasons why Americans have such little confidence in Congress is because of the practice of rushing massive, expensive bills to a vote without giving lawmakers or the American people time to read them. This is the people’s House: ‘read the bill’ should not be just an afterthought – it should be the first and only thought.

”NOTE: “Read the bill” reform is the first plank of the congressional transparency initiative House Republicans released last fall. In September, Rep. Greg Walden (R-OR) filed a discharge petition to force a floor vote on bipartisan three-day public review legislation authored by Reps. John Culberson (R-TX) and Brian Baird (D-WA). To date, the petition has garnered 182 signatures – including five rank-and-file Democrats – 36 short of the 218 needed to secure a vote on the floor. Leader Boehner, a co-sponsor of the Culberson-Baird measure, has called on Speaker Pelosi and Majority Leader

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