Require Congressional Knowledge Before a Yes Vote

cropped-bob-shapiro.jpg   By Bob Shapiro

It was a very long night. Several hundred pages were added to an already long and complicated Bill in Congress, as votes were bought with Amendments to the Bill. Finally, it was ready to bring it to a vote.

The next day, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi pushed through the Affordable Care Act, also known as ObamaCare, with House members present having no time to understand what they were voting on.

A hundred million constituents were disenfranchised that day. They had elected someone to represent them in Congress, but without being allowed the time to understand what they were voting on, their Representatives were kept from carrying out their responsibilities.

We see now how bad the Law is so far, with more Economy killing effects yet to become apparent. Unfortunately, this is the way business is carried out in Washington. It was only the controversy that made it visible.

At the very least, both the House and the Senate should act to prevent this kind of shameful event from happening again.

Action Item: Both the House and Senate should adopt a rule change requiring each member to have a working knowledge of every provision in a Bill before that member may cast a Yes vote. Without that working knowledge, the member either may abstain or vote No. If it is determined that a member voted Yes without the requisite familiarity with the Bill, that member should receive a penalty up to and including expulsion from that body.

 

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