What are Nancy Pelosi and the other Democratic leaders in Congress afraid of? Do they think the public should not know what its own Congress is doing?
Two representatives — a Democrat and a Republican — are pushing for the 72-hour rule. It would require that the text of major bills be posted online for 72 hours before the House votes. Congress and regular folks then would have a chance to read the bill.
That hardly seems controversial. But House Speaker Pelosi and the Democrats are blocking the effort, just as congressional negotiators work in secret to consolidate five health care reform bills. That raises the specter of Congress rushing through a 1,000-page reform with the public and even members of Congress not entirely sure what's in it.
Perhaps that rings a bell. The same thing happened with the financial rescue plan last October, the economic stimulus in February and the climate change bill this summer. We've seen a similar phenomenon with state legislators in Raleigh: A budget bill as thick as a phone book emerges from behind closed doors and a vote is taken hours later.
It's a nutty way to make public policy.
To read the complete editorial, visit The Charlotte Observer.