As House Democrats try to jam a health care bill through Congress this week using convoluted procedural tricks, U.S. Rep. Charlie Dent (PA-15) is renewing his call for transparency and accountability on the legislative process, starting with public access to the powerful Rules Committee.
“The Rules Committee will be the first committee to review reconciliation policy that will have significant and long-lasting effects on the lives of the American people and our economy,” Congressman Dent said. “Moreover, the actions of the Rules Committee will be a major factor in determining the outcome of this process. Recent reports have indicated that Chairwoman Slaughter will attempt to craft a procedural rule in the Committee that would, in effect, allow the Senate health care legislation to pass without even a direct up or down vote. The American people deserve to see what their elected representatives are doing behind the closed doors of the Rules Committee.”
In October 2009, Rep. Dent introduced a resolution, H.Res. 869, calling on the Chief Administrative Officer to install cameras in the hearing room of the Committee on Rules and to coordinate with the Committee to record and broadcast its proceedings. Congressman Dent has renewed his call to vote on this resolution and other legislation aimed at transparency for the American people BEFORE a vote on health care legislation.
“The Speaker has plainly warned the American public 'we have to pass the bill so that you can find out what is in it' – a view of the democratic process I find reprehensible,” Congressman Dent said. “The Speaker and her allies are bending the rules to the point, I believe, they may be broken, all because she lacks the votes to pass this legislation honestly. House leadership has broken faith with the American people, and I hope to begin restoring that faith by shedding sunlight on these shadowy procedures.”