Bill posting promises differ from bill posting rules

In my story on congressional leaders resisting a formal rule requiring bills to be posted online for 72 hours, I left out a pledge by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., to implement a three day waiting period before the House votes on health care reform legislation.

My story was about the rules, not individual promises, like Pelosi's or one made by members of the Senate Finance Committee, which aren't binding. Senate leaders have no plans to wait 72 hours before voting on their health care bill, though one senior aide said it would probably be made available for “more than 24 hours but less than 72 hours.”

And it is not clear at all whether the legislation will be available for public perusal for three days, which many are advocating.

Besides, Republicans and Democrats alike have failed to deliver on past promises to make legislation available for a certain period of time. The $787 billion stimulus bill is one example.

Nobody believes Pelosi will go back on her word in this case, except the Republicans, of course, but even they are slightly skittish about putting a formal three-day waiting period in the rule book. The GOP was also guilty of rushing bills to the floor when they ran the House.

“I'm supportive of the concept but procedurally, but I want to make sure we do this in a way that is going to achieve our goal and not undermine our ability to function,” said Rep. David Dreier, R-Calif., the top Republican on the House Rules Committee.
 

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