CARRIE BUDOFF BROWN
Tuesday, June 30, 2009
Passing comprehensive health reform was already a huge task. Now a conservative group wants a pledge from every lawmaker to actually read the entire bill before voting.
Talk about a heavy lift.
It’s one of the facts of Washington life: With staff, lobbyists and think tanks providing their own analysis of bills, members of Congress can go without reading the text.
But Let Freedom Ring, a group that promotes constitutional government and traditional values, has launched a campaign to get all 535 lawmakers in the House and Senate to pledge to not vote on the health care bill (likely to top 1,000 pages) until they have personally read it and the bill has been posted on the Internet for 72 hours.
“People were shaken into a new state of awareness when people talked about the size of the stimulus bill and the fact that, in all probability, no member of Congress or senator had read the bill,” said Colin A. Hanna, president of Let Freedom Ring. “That struck people as inherently absurd, almost in the existential, theater-of-the-absurd sense. We all know lots of bills are not read, but sometimes the scope and nature of a bill rises to a different level than everyday legislation.”