May 29, 2009

The Five Day Wait

TransparentNevada readers will recognize our disappointment with the Obama administration's continuing refusal to post bills online and wait for five days before signing them.

Well, the Washington Times has looked into the issue and attempts to see what justification the administration is using.

White House spokesman Robert Gibbs has stated the "clock starts ticking" when a link is posted to bills "in their final version, such as a conference report, even if they haven't passed Congress."

Really?

In the case of a Defense Department weapons acquisition bill, the White House posted its link to the Library of Congress Web site, www.Thomas.gov, on May 14, even though the conference report wasn't done until May 20. Congress passed that bill on May 21 and Mr. Obama signed it the next day.

On the Credit Cardholders Bill of Rights Act, the White House posted a link to Congress on May 14, but the Senate didn't finish its work until May 19; the House agreed to the Senate's version on May 20, and Mr. Obama signed it two days later.

No matter how you parse it, the dates just don't add up.

To the average American, President Obama's pledge of ...

"When there's a bill that ends up on my desk as president, you the public will have five days to look online and find out what's in it before I sign it, so that you know what your government's doing," Mr. Obama said in a major campaign speech laying out his goals for transparency. (Emphasis mine)

can only mean one thing: Once the bill has been passed by both houses of Congress, the American public can read through the legislation over a period of five days. The President then either signs or vetoes the bill. It really is that simple.

I believe the reason this particular broken promise is so tough to swallow is because of how easy it would of been to follow it. Instead of making the President do anything extra, all he would of had to do is wait five days before taking his pen to it. There really is no excuse.