New Report Says Most Congressmen Don’t Read ‘Monster’ Spending Bills
AS CONGRESS PREPARES TO CONSIDER another catch-all spending bill, a new report shows lawmakers never read such bills or know what’s in them. minimum of three calendar days to read any one bill before it is brought up on the floor for debate. But this rule is routinely waived.
Under both Republican and Democratic leadership, Congress passed 1,000-page conference reports with only a few hours or even minutes for review.
“These monster spending bills are the scariest things you never read,” Rafael DeGennaro, head of ReadtheBill.org, which authored the report, told a Washington press conference October 30.
“No human reads these 1,000-page behemoths before they become the law of the land.”
The “Monsters From Congress” report examined 13 case studies of omnibus appropriations bills passed by Congress during 1982-2004. The members had a combined 65 hours before floor debate began to read all 13 conference reports, which contained a total of 12,113 pages.
Under House rules, members are supposed to have a
Senators had a combined total of 196 hours to read all 13 conference reports. For only one out of the 13 bills did senators have more than 24 hours of reading time before the floor debate began.
The report contains more than 70 quotes from House members and senators who admitted they had not read the bills they were about to vote on. This includes quotes from senior members of the House and Senate appropriations committees.
“No human can read such a monster bill,” said DeGennaro. “No human should ever write one again.”
(Issue #46, November 12, 2007)