March 17, 2009

Introducting ReadTheBill.org

The ever busy Sunlight Foundation has released another tool in its arsenal of promoting government transparency—ReadTheBill.org:

ReadTheBill.org is a commonsense solution—we want Congress to post all bills online for 72 hours before they are debated. That gives members of Congress—and you—three days to read legislation and consider how it could potentially affect each of us in our daily lives. A 72 hour rule would also give you a chance to let your senators and representative in Congress know what you like, or don't like, about a bill before they vote.

This is definitely a step in the right direction. We the people should be given at least a chance of examining potential bills and letting our voices be heard.

Do you remember when the $780+ billion dollar stimulus bill passed? The whole bill clocked in at 1,100 pages. You would think something that important would be reviewed line-by-line to ensure it was effective and worthy. Yet nobody read it. You would of had to read just over six pages a minute for three hours straight to have gotten through it by the time our Congress members voted on it.

It is still a way off but I personally would like to watch the entire creation of a bill through some sort of wiki system, wherein each revision made to it is logged and timestamped. But until that glorious day comes, I'd be plenty happy with simply being able to read the final product.