Today, Senator Frank Lautenberg (D-NJ) predicted that his Senate colleagues would not “have the chance” to read the now 1,000+ page “stimulus bill” before they voted on it. He told CNSNews.com; “No, I don’t think anyone will have the chance to [read the entire bill].” CNSNews went on to report that they could not find one single Member of Congress that had read the latest bill, which contains hand-written changes in the bill page’s.
The new bill was delivered to Members at 11:00 pm last night. According to the New York Times, it “looks more like the Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 1979 than of 2009 – filled with hand-written copy-editing marks, insertions scrawled in the margins, deletions of whole paragraphs boxed with X’s slashing through them, and a variety of curious hash marks and other annotations.” Apparently, Speaker Pelosi took great care to make sure that the bill was not searchable online by the American public, by placing all pages in .pdf form, with only pictures of the pages available.
This is on the heels of yesterday’s House floor debate, where “Democratic lawmakers fired back that Republicans didn’t need to see the bill anyway, since none of them voted for the stimulus when it moved through the House the first time and would probably stand in opposition.”
And according to the Drudge Report, this speed may have more to do with Speaker Pelosi’s scheduled junket to Rome, Italy, rather than any great concern for the American economy. House Minority Whip Eric Cantor summed up the speed strategy by twittering; “Those in favor of speed over commonsense may just be afraid of letting the People know what they are ramming through.”
According to Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-MD); “The House is scheduled to meet at 9:00 a.m. …and is expected to proceed directly to consideration of the American Recovery and Reinvestment conference report. The conference report text will be filed this evening, giving members enough time to review the conference report before voting on it tomorrow afternoon.” We hope Congress developed speed reading skills overnight, and are not putting vacation over country.