How Difficult Is It To Post A Bill On The White House Website For Five Days?

from the come-on... dept

It seemed like a pretty straightforward campaign promise by President Obama: all non-critical bills that were passed by Congress would be placed on the White House website for five days for people to review before the President would sign or veto. It was a mostly symbolic gesture, since, once passed, there's not much that would likely happen to change the bill, but it could allow some to make the case, one way or another, for how President Obama should respond to the legislation. We were disappointed when, at the first opportunity, Obama totally ignored this promise and signed a bill just a day after Congress passed it.

Since then? It hasn't gotten any better. The NY Times is reporting that Obama has ignored this rather simple promise on nearly every bill put before him. That's not the "transparency" we were told to expect. Even worse, the White House has now "changed the terms" of the promise (which sure sounds like "breaking the promise"), saying they'll put draft bills on the website earlier and start the "five day" clock ticking then -- even though legislation may change before Congress votes on it.

And then... there's the bizarre claim that the White House couldn't fulfill the promise due to "unexpected technical hurdles." Really? Putting up the details of a law? And waiting five days? What kind of technical hurdles are we talking about. I recognize that there are campaign promises that get broken, but there are usually at least decent reasons why. In this case, it seems to be because no one in the administration actually cares. And that's disappointing.

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  1. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 23 Jun 2009 @ 10:39pm

    http://forums.christianity.com/m_3795161/mpage_6/tm.htm (read post 129).

    Where I wrote.

    "Industry gets a whole year to comment but the public gets only a week. It should be obvious that the FDA is here to serve industry, not the public (and the only reason the FDA would give the public a week to comment is because laws require them to give some time for us to comment, despite the fact that the FDA simply ignores public concerns and comments)."

    (uhm... I think I remember reading somewhere that the FDA eventually passed the feed ban anyways? Not sure, but my point is that industry gets more time to read, understand, comment, lobby against, and adjust to a change in law that may negatively affect them, though it would positively affect the general public. However, when the reverse is true the general public hardly has a comment period).

    Obama seems to be promoting this same pro industry mentality as well.

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