Tuesday, July 7, 2009

No Representation Until You Read the Legislation

We're hearing talk of a new stimulus plan being offered. Obviously, I don't think many of you elected officials would be so foolish as to actually support this, but I also realize that even if the GOP were to oppose such legislation with unanimity, it would still pass.

I think Representative Boehner and the rest of the House GOP did a magnificant job of pointing out that a vote on legislation was going to take place without anyone having read the actual bill. That resonates with me, and it resonates with a lot of other Americans as well. If you're not even reading the legislation you're voting on, this country has a problem.

So here's my request: Have every Republican representative pledge that they will not vote for any stimulus bill or amendments until they, and the American people, have been able to read and study the legislation for some period of time. If the first stimulus wasn't enough, then we can wait a few weeks to debate another one in an informed manner. If Democrats try to hold a vote without elected officials and the American public having had a chance to pore over that bill and examine it closely, then it's time for the GOP to walk out of that chamber. An easy way for the GOP to reclaim its position as the party of grown-ups is to start acting like it. You won't be taking your ball and going home (as critics will allege), you will be refusing to be party to an act that your constituents have told you they find unacceptable. You can't vote on legislation that you haven't read and think that you're representing me. I can assure you, I wouldn't cast a vote on an enormous spending package without having read even the finest of print. I'm fairly certain I'm not the only one that feels that way. How can you claim to represent us until you've read the legislation and know what you're voting for or against?

Which means, of course, that we have to start telling our Republican representatives that we don't want a vote on this legislation until we know what's in the bill. I'm even sending a letter to my Democratic congressman, even though I doubt he'll pay it a second look. Hey, it just means I'll cough up another Andrew Jackson for his opponent.

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