Open Access Bill in Congress

From Nature:

US investigators funded by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) may soon be compelled to publish only in journals that make their research papers freely available within one year of publication.

President George Bush, a patsy of the Publishing Pirates, is expected to veto the bill. However, if he does that he will also be seen as being Mean to Veterans, which to a Republican is roughly like kicking a puppy dog, because the Democrats have slyly attached a bill funding the Department of Veterans Affairs.


  1. #1 Brian
    November 10, 2007

    I make fun of american politics at times, but when it comes doen to it I really don’t understand it at all. This practice of attaching funding bills onto other legislation really puzzles me. It just seems so wrong.

    Up here in Canada a piece of legislation is crafted by the government through committees and is brought to the House of Commons for debate and a vote. The opposition can suggest amendments and they vote on those. Then our unelected senate just rubber stamps whatever the House decides – very efficient system.

    How can anything get passed down there if every piece of legislation has a dozen riders stuck onto it? Very strange.

    Also I thought Bush was famous for not using his Veto at all, but now it seems like he’s zapping down bills right and left. Is it just because the democrats are now in control of the house?

  2. #2 Greg Laden
    November 10, 2007

    The system is supposed to work this way: You get a bill that must pass but that a majority can’t vote for because they’d have to explain something to the voters back home that they’d rather not explain. So then you attach “riders” that allow that member to build a new water tower or fix up the train station, or whatever. That, they can explain. It actually works fairly well.

    In some states in the US it is unconstitutional to have a bill that does more than one thing. Like Canada.