In order to form a more perfect union.

The following is a news commentary

[dropcap]F[/dropcap]or a health care a bill or any bill, we should require that a nonpartisan Congressional recorder publicly post a summary of each paragraph five days before a vote, with a notation disclosing which members of Congress and which lobbyists wrote/worked on that particular provision. If anything is added to or subtracted from the bill after it’s posted, that, too, should be posted at least 48 hours before a final vote, and include the same disclosures.

Photo by Susan Sterner

There was a time when this kind of communication wasn’t possible. But now, we’re in the information age. There’s no legitimate reason for the business conducted by our elected representatives to be mysterious and secret to the public at large. It can be posted almost instantaneously. How different would everything be– from budget bills, to bills on arcane topics that nobody understands, except Congress and lobbyists?

Is this something all can agree on, no matter your political persuasion?

What do you think? [hr]Preorder The Smear: How Shady Political Operatives and Fake News Control What You See, What You Think and How You Vote [hr]


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15 thoughts on “In order to form a more perfect union.”

  1. Excellent idea. And I think the impact of such transparency would be enhanced by making it illegal for lobbyists to meet in private with government officials. The fact that they are paid to lobby gives them an unfair advantage over individual citizens. Therefore, limit their access to public hearings that are timed to encourage public participation. Even banks have figured out that more people will participate if the doors are open at times when people are not at work.

  2. We are failing as a “united we stand, divided we fall” country. Maybe there is a subversive plot to destroy America. Maybe people have reached such a “comfort zone” that they only see their side of any situation. The blind obsession for Hillary is all consuming. The truth is less exciting than gossip and fake news, and less profitable. Polls are easy to rig so totally unreliable. When neither side is willing to bend American values are easy to overturn. As an example, the Tea Party was a non-violent movement; Hillary supporters are viciously violent radicals. Her league was created, led and endorsed by President Obama. They rejoice is destruction and hatred. Instead of finding solutions. While Democrats will stay united regardless of the absurdity or illegality of any issue. Sadly, Republicans are their own enemy. GOP members cannot unite on any issue even when given every possible opportunity to advance their beliefs. President Trump is NOT the problem. Anyone who won over Hillary would be in the same situation. Until Republicans form a strong front, they will be the losing team even when they win. Their stupidity creates the perfect time for a revolution or takeover of America.

  3. What I think of it: While it’s true that in 2017 the truth can travel as fast as a lie, it remains true that we many elect few and send them to meet one another in a neutral Federal District for the purpose of governing us many. Sharyl, you no more want me to veto your work daily than I want you to interfere with my work daily. You and I and we many have 2 chances every 2 years to express our net assessment of our representative’s performance, and the wealthiest among us are free to buy their attention.

  4. In an open and honest government, we would not be thinking about this. That being said, thanks Sheryl for bringing this to light. as we are all getting sick of the secrecy that should not exist with our representatives, and I am fairly certain that most honest hard working Americans, do not even realize the amount of corruption that exists between lobbyists and our elected officials. Great article as usual, and I have been passing your name around to all of my FB friends and anyone else who would listen. My Father worked in the news paper business, and you remind me of some of the journalists I was always around growing up. Nice to know a REAL journalist is still on the job, and you have earned my trust. Thanks Sheryl, you

  5. Excellent point. In most professional work environments now, we can see “markups” for a document and who made them. It’s ubiquitous in Microsoft-based environments, and other cloud collaboration services have it, too.

    I suspect this won’t happen because a truly honest footnote would read something like:

    “1) Inserted by (insert House member) at the request of the Chamber of Commerce, who is looking to transfer the cost of their medical benefits to the taxpayer.”

    2) Revised at request of Sen. X on behalf of mega-bundler funding many PACs that finance his campaign”

  6. Great idea . . . in theory! But all it would amount to would be yet another layer of partisan legislative wrangling, this time focused on disputed wordings of the summaries.

  7. I think it’s a great idea, not just at the federal level but state & local as well. Unfortunately that runs against the desires of those in power to keep we plebes in the dark most of the time. Remember what was going to be the “most transparent admin ever”? Turned out not so much!
    Thanks, Sharyl for being one of the last true investigative journalists.

  8. Everyone agrees with this except the politicians because the last thing they want is to be held accountable.

  9. Great idea . . . in theory. But in practice all it would amount to would be yet another layer of legislative wrangling, focused in such cases on disputes about the wording of the summaries.

  10. Where’s the honest free-marketers screaming to #RepealAndREPRIVATIZE ?
    Reid/Obama wiped out the laws for the medical by industry with their fascistic take-over, new laws should incorporate : choice to buy or not, cross state line purchases, dozens of risk pools, and a set percentage for genuine indigent, and congenitally illness, etc.
    Take new technology along with verified facts, stats, and actuarial table and : “Do better,” by keeping #BigGovt OUT of the medical industry.
    Many things lost in this DEM debacle is the fact that private doctors invested tens of millions of their own money and their respective futures by building beneficial medical offices/hospitals around the country, and – after the take-over – they simply walked away … lots of time and attention went into “going after” Madoff, but nothing about these aforementioned investors and the extremist rules-changes (Non-Ponzi) scheme they suffered.

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