McCarthy: American Taxpayers will Benefit from More Transparency in House Committee Review Process
Washington D.C. – Congressman Kevin McCarthy joined his colleagues in introducing a resolution (H.Res. 835) that would require House committees to post all bills and amendments online within 24 hours of adoption to not escape public scrutiny. The transparency changes would prohibit committee members and their staff from adding undeclared or “phantom amendments” to bills in secret after they have been finalized by the committee. Recently, the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP) Committee added 75 changes to their health care reform bill in the middle of the night, after the bill was approved by the committee and the meeting had ended.
Congressman McCarthy issued the following statement:
“Structure dictates behavior, and this commonsense fix to House rules is essential to improve a broken Congress. A structure that embraces sunlight allows the power of the idea to thrive, while secret, back-room deals hide critical details from American taxpayers, and have led to failed fiscal policies. I hope that Speaker Pelosi will allow a straight up or down vote on this common-sense bill to bring more accountability and transparency to Congress.”
H.Res. 835 is a companion resolution to the 72-hour “read the bill” resolution (H.Res. 554), which Congressman Kevin McCarthy signed a discharge petition for on September 23, 2009 to allow an up or down vote on the resolution. If enacted, H.Res. 554 would allow the American public and Members of Congress to have 72 hours to review legislation before being brought to the House floor for a vote.