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Should Congress read bills it votes on? The people say yes

Jan 06, 2023


As Rep. Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., tries to become the next House speaker, he is negotiating with his opponents on a series of demands that include plum committee positions, campaign spending and making it easier to vote the speaker out if they aren’t happy with the their performance. But there’s another demand that’s not getting as much attention. The demand is to give members at least 72 hours to read a bill before they vote on it.

Some members contend they don’t always have enough time. For instance, the omnibus spending package that will fund the government through September was 4,155 pages long and covered $1.7 trillion. The details of the bill were released at 2 a.m. Tuesday Dec. 20, 2022, and the Senate voted on it Thursday Dec. 22.

Straight Arrow News went to the White House to ask people visiting from around the country: Should members of Congress have to read a bill before they vote on it? Everyone said yes.

Here are some of the answers:

“It’s common sense.”

“Because how can you vote in support a bill if you haven’t read it first?”

“You should know what you’re voting for. You can’t vote blindly.”

Check out their explanations in the video above.

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We’re outside the White House asking people one simple question. Should members of Congress have to read a bill before they vote on it?
Absolutely. They should actually read it. So we can know what’s in it. It’s common sense. Because how can you vote in support of Bill? If you haven’t? Read it first?
Yeah, I think it would be important to understand what you’re saying yes to? Or if you shouldn’t be saying no to it both.
You should know what you’re voting for. Yeah, I think you can vote by blindly in order
to make decisions for our country’s physicians to be completely informed about what they’re making a decision on.
Recently, there was the omnibus spending package for the federal government that was more than 4000 pages long. Some members say when it comes to bills like that they should be given a minimum of 72 hours to read it. Do you think that’s a reasonable amount of time?
72 hours? Okay. I think I think they shouldn’t have a time limit for 1000 pages and 72 hours? I don’t think so.
I wouldn’t be able to burn through 4000 pages in 72 hours, but that’s just me if they have team staffers that can help them get through that kind of material. So be it but that’s, that’s tall order. You know, it’s read every word. I think there’s ways you can compact it and you know, make it more feasible for everyone to read. So seven jars seems seems good to me if it’s if it’s not all 4000 pages.
So there you have it. The overwhelming consensus is yes, members of Congress need to read what they vote on, straight from DC. I’m Ray Bogan.

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