The Sunlight Foundation is committed to helping citizens, bloggers and journalists be their own best watchdogs, by improving access to existing information and digitizing new information, and by creating new tools and Web sites to enable all of us to collaborate in fostering greater transparency.
From an email today:
There's been some big developments today, friends.
In June, we let you know that Representatives John Culberson (R-TX) and Brian Baird (D-WA) introduced a resolution, H.Res 554, that would change House rules to require all major bills to be posted online publicly for at least 72 hours before they are debated.
Essentially: a "Read the Bill" resolution.
Well, today, members of Congress filed a "discharge petition" in the House regarding that resolution, and if the petition gets 218 signatures in the House, leaders Nancy Pelosi and Steny Hoyer will be required to schedule H.Res 554 for a vote on the House floor.
Our Read the Bill resolution has been languishing in the House for many months--years, if you include versions that have been introduced in prior Congresses--and a discharge petition is a way to force a bill to the floor for a vote. This is the time to make it happen.
Take a moment and make a phone call to ask your Rep. to sign onto H.Res 554 using our simple website. Ask your friends to do the same.
At the end of the day it comes down to this: an informed citizenry is critical to a functioning democracy. The point isn't only whether legislators read every word, but whether all citizens - people like us - have an opportunity to review and comment on pending legislation before it has an impact on our lives.
We are going to make sure we have that chance.
There's no ifs, ands, or buts. Legislation should be online for everyone to read.
ps For the full scoop on today's action, read Lisa Rosenberg's full rundown: