Jonathan Adler writes about yet another betrayed promise of transparency from the Obama administration:
A few weeks ago, the Obama Administration officially abandoned the President’s “Sunlight before Signing” campaign pledge that the White House would post all legislation passed by Congress for at least five days before the President would sign it. In making this announcement, the Administration maintained that it would comply with the spirit, if not the letter, of the original commitment by posting legislation on the White House site once it became clear legislation would eventually pass and make it to the President’s desk. This new commitment, they suggested, would actually provide even greater sunlight, as some bills would be available for review earlier and for a longer time. Well, this promise is no longer operative either, as the Cato Institute’s Jim Harper details. Since the White House announced its new sunlight policy, nine additional pieces of legislation have been signed into law by the President and yet, as of yesterday, not one had been posted on the White House web site.
Another good reason to support the Read the Bills Act and make sure that the public and watchdog groups have full access to every detail of legislation before it is voted on. It is absurd and dangerous that Congress continually passes legislation running into the thousands of pages without anyone knowing what is in the bill.
Much of that legislation is written by lobbyists and inserted by those they pay off. The public absolutely has a right to know what is in those bills before they pass so they can pressure their representatives over provisions that will cause more harm than good, or that are philosophically a bad idea.
And we should all stop falling for any rhetoric from the government that we have to pass this bill right now, immediately, without any time for consideration, or the sky is going to fall. I don’t care which party is in power, when you hear that claim you should be absolutely certain that we are being taken for a ride.