We showed up by the millions this past summer when you calculate the total attendance of American citizens at tea parties, rallies, counter0rallies and townhalls across this great nation. One of our main concerns was that our politicians were not reading the bills before voting on them. Now we find our politicians attempting to make it impossible for the American people to read those bills as well. Michael Franc of the Heritage Foundation put it best when he commented, “The American people are now suspicious of not only the lawmakers, but the process they hide behind to do their work.” Senator Max Baucus, who is the mastermind of the new Senate healthcare bill, has claimed that it is too difficult for his staff to make the bill available online.
The lobbying group Sunlight Foundation has been behind a major push to ensure that legislation is brought out for public consumption. The Washington Examiner reports:
A similar effort is under way in Congress. Reps. Brian Baird, D-Wash., and Greg Walden, R-Ore., are circulating a petition among House lawmakers that would force a vote on the 72-hour rule.
Nearly every Republican has signed on, but the Democratic leadership is unwilling to cede control over when bills are brought to the floor for votes and are discouraging their rank and file from signing the petition. Senate Democrats voted down a similar measure last week for the health care bill.
Those of us in the Tea party Movement know that this is not unique to only Democrats. Republicans have played the same game for years as well. Neither party cares if they are completely transparent to their constituents. Congress will be forced in a little over a year to listen to us when Election Day 2010 rolls around. We expect more from our government and demand more from our government. And we will get more!