U.S. Rep. Charlie Dent (PA-15) has joined the effort to require all proposed House actions be posted on the Internet at least 72 hours prior to consideration on the House floor. Congressman Dent signed a bipartisan discharge petition that would force a vote on the measure.
If signed by a majority of House members, the discharge petition would forcibly bring H. Res. 554 (introduced by Rep. Brian Baird, D-WA, on June 17, 2009) up for a vote. The bipartisan resolution amends House rules to require that legislation and conference reports be posted on the Internet for at least 72 hours before they receive a vote on the House floor (excluding Saturdays, Sundays and holidays unless the House is in session on such a day.)
“Democracy only works when the public is informed, and too often Congress has rushed legislation that Members barely have time to review, let alone the American public,” Congressman Dent said. “This is not a partisan issue – this has occurred both under Republican and Democrat leadership. However, this ‘midnight legislation’ problem has accelerated this past year as we considered huge, transformational legislation without proper time to review the completed bill – and this process has completely left out the American public. A 72-hour public notice requirement will bring sunshine to the process, and perhaps help restore the public’s confidence in a Congress that too often works in the shadows.”