Politico reports today that House Republican Leader John Boehner (R-OH) "has told supporters and his own members that he wants to overhaul how the House does business" by posting all bills online at least three days before a vote, and much more. In "Republicans vow reform if they win House," Rich Cohen outlines some of the transparency reforms Republicans want to implement to make Congress more open and accountable:
"Republicans already have embraced some relatively limited reform initiatives that likely would generate little internal opposition in the short term, including cameras in the House Rules Committee and a 72-hour delay for the public to have access to a bill before the House votes. During a lunch with reporters last month, Boehner also said that a GOP majority would ban the use of 'omnibus' spending bills and outlaw 'monuments to me' — projects named after living lawmakers using taxpayer dollars.
"'I'm serious about reform, and these are some of the initial steps we'd take to give the American people a greater voice in their Congress,' Boehner told the reporters."
The GOP Congressional Transparency Initiative is an effort by Republicans to make Congress more open and accountable on several fronts. For example:
>> Rep. John Culberson (R-TX) introduced legislation requiring all major bills be posted online for at least 72 hours before a vote by Congress. Rep. Greg Walden (R-OR) is leading an effort to force a vote on this bill by using a "discharge petition" – and he only needs 36 more signatures to make it happen.
>> Rep. Lynn Jenkins (R-KS) introduced legislation (H. Res. 835) to ban the practice of secretly adding "phantom amendments" to legislation after it's already been passed by committee. Jenkins' bill would require House committees to post legislation online within 24 hours after a vote.
>> Rep. Dave Reichert (R-WA) authored H. Res. 874, legislation that would require committees to post Members' votes online within 48 hours after they are cast.
>> H.R. Res. 869, introduced by Rep. Charlie Dent (R-PA), would require cameras to be installed in the powerful Rules Committee, ending the practice of making decisions about which bills and amendments come to a vote (and which do not) behind closed doors.
>> CNSNews.com quotes Boehner saying Republicans would also "ban the practice of 'airdropping' earmarks into bills at the last possible minute to dodge public scrutiny… outlaw 'monuments to me,' where legislators use your tax money to build projects named after themselves," and "take better advantage of new technology to continue to break down the walls between citizens and legislators, and to make our Congress more transparent and accountable to the American people."
But there's a lot of work ahead if we want to make these reforms a reality. Please consider making a generous contribution to The Freedom Project today or check out and support key Republican candidates here.
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