Reading the bill might not help you understand it

The catch phrase "read the bill," has been getting lots of mileage from anti-health reform protesters and even members of congress.

But here’s an interesting item from Politico that shows reading the bill, especially a 1,000-plus page monster like health reform, isn’t all it is cracked up to be.

"There’s a whole advisory and consultative system built into the legislative process designed to help members understand legislation, said Thomas Mann, a congressional expert with the Brookings Institution.

Lawmakers, committees and caucus leaders all employ staffs of legislative and policy experts to brief members and write plain-English summaries. There are also specialized departments, such as the Congressional Research Service and the Congressional Budget Office, that offer a variety of nonpartisan, expert services. Plus, a slew of think tanks and advocacy groups provide their own analyses.

Rather than asking if lawmakers are reading bills, Mann said, “the more critical questions are: Is someone reading it? Is it available in a timely way, [or] are things being written at the last minute, in the dark, with no one really aware of what’s been included?”

In other words, the advisory process needs time to work."

TOP NEWS
ad-infeed_1x2_1
News Headlines
ad-infeed_1
ads_infeed_2
Local Spotlight
Add Event
Home Front Page Footer Listing
Circular
You May Like

You May Like