It has been one week since the Senate Majority Leader announced he sent his health care bill to the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) and the American people are still not allowed to see Sen. Reid’s (D-NV) version of Obamacare. Late last week, Sen. Jim DeMint (R-SC) authored a letter to Reid demanding that Senators be given the opportunity to read the same bill that Reid sent to CBO. The American people have a constitutional right pursuant to the First Amendment to “petition the government for a redress of grievances.” In the name of transparency and participatory democracy, Senator Reid should release his bill to the American public.
All 40 Republican Senators signed the following letter last week:
On Monday, you announced that you had sent health care legislation to the Congressional Budget Office. As you know, this legislation will have a profound impact on the lives of every American, including the next generation who will be forced to pay for it. Our national debt stands at nearly $12 trillion, with a deficit of nearly $1.4 trillion. The health care bill will likely be more than 1,000 pages and is the single most important legislation we will consider and debate this year in Congress.
With an issue this large and complex, we need full transparency at every stage in the legislative process. President Obama was elected, in part, on his promise to bring greater transparency to the workings of the federal government. The American people and every member of Congress should be allowed to read the bill that was sent to CBO. The bill should be made available for taxpayers to read and learn how the federal government is spending their money. We are writing to request that you immediately make all materials sent to CBO publicly available on the internet.
The debate will commence this week in the House of Representatives, yet in the Senate the debate can’t even start until Senators, and the American public, are provided a detailed text of the bill being prepared in secret for debate on the Senate floor as early as next week.