Congress Should Read Before Voting
July 5, 2012 by Sam Rolley
Would you recommend to a friend a book you hadnât read?
This is akin to what many members of Congress do every time they vote, albeit which much more dire circumstances than suggesting a poorly written novel to a friend. Members of Congress routinely create and then vote on bills that are hundreds of pages long and contain legislation pertaining to unrelated issues.
Senator Rand Paul (R-Ky.) announced last week that he thinks this is ridiculous. On Friday, he introduced a bill that would give legislators one full day to read for every 20 pages of legislation presented before a vote is held.
Paul blasted the Senate last week just before it approved a massive bill extending highway funding, Federal flood insurance and low student loan rates in a span of 600 pages.
“For goodness sakes, this is a 600-page bill. I got it this morning,” Paul said Friday.
The highway-flood-student loan bill came up for vote just a day before authorization for highway spending was set to expire and two days before the interest rate on loans was set to double. Paul said that is no excuse for passing a bill without reading its contents.
The Senator also introduced separate legislation (SB 3359), that would prohibit the inclusion of more than one subject in a single bill.
Perhaps Congress didnât realize they should read the bills they vote on because it goes unmentioned in âSchoolhouse Rock.â