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Posey Introduces Legislation to Require 72 Hour Period of Availability Before Congress Can Consider Legislation

Congressman Bill Posey was joined by 30 of his colleagues in introducing legislation to amend Rules of the House to require a 72 hour period of availability before legislation can be brought up for consideration in the House of Representatives. The bill, H. Res. 689, also requires that a print comparing current law with the proposed law be made available to Members of Congress and the public for at least 72 hours before legislation can be considered. This not only applies to the underlying bill to be considered but also to any manager’s amendment or other amendment that makes significant changes to the bill.

“The first rule of open government is transparency,” said Congressman Posey. “It’s disrespectful to the American people for Congress to ram through thousands of pages of legislation that no one has had the time to read or understand. Members of Congress must be given the opportunity to read and digest the massive spending increases and complex statutory changes that are included in many of the bills we are asked to consider. This bill simply lets the sunshine in and encourages public debate and involvement in the issues before Congress.”

Specifically, Posey’s bill requires that legislation be made available to Members of Congress and the public for at least 72 hours before the House may begin debate on the legislation. It also requires that a comparative print showing specifically how the proposed legislation changes current law be made available at least 72 hours before consideration of the bill. The legislation is similar to rules put in place by the Florida legislature to ensure no last minute changes could be made to legislation before a vote.

Posey said that it is important that Members of Congress and the public be given sufficient time and information to understand more fully how the proposed legislation or amendments affect current law. “By requiring the comparative print, Members and the public are given a much better understanding of the overall impact of the bill.”

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