EDITOR'S NOTE: Think of all the pharmaceutical ads you watch on TV. There are hundreds of them. When it comes to verbally disclosing the risks and negative side effects, ever notice how the voiceover is sped up and condensed to a point where you can’t really understand what the person is saying? The sad truth is that you weren’t meant to hear all of it. It doesn’t matter if it negatively affects you. And if you happen to purchase the medication, notice how small, long, and unreadable the content is. The disclosure, somehow meant for the customer, actually functions to protect the manufacturer. What does this have to do with Rand Paul’s article below? We see a similar disconnect in Congress. Biden’s omnibus spending package is 2,741 pages long. Did any of the members in the Senate actually have time to digest each page before coming to a vote? Similar to how the judicial process was meant not to seek truth but to put an efficient end to a case, can we assume that legislative proposals in voluminous form aren’t necessarily intended to disclose details but to bury them? If so, Rand Paul has a plan to bring transparency to this process of obfuscation. It goes without saying, it’s in Americans’ best interest for their representatives to actually read and understand what they’re voting for or against. It may, at the least, help disclose where American money is going.
Think Congress is full of speed readers? Voters expect lawmakers to know what we're voting on before we decide to spend their money.
Last week, the Senate voted on the 2,741-page omnibus spending package, clocking in at a whopping $1.5 trillion. It was released in the middle of the night, just hours before we were expected to vote on it.
Mind you, when we vote on things, we’re expected to know what we’re voting on. At least that’s the expectation of the folks we represent back home.
But do you really think there is a single person in the United States who actually believes that Congress is filled with speed readers capable of digesting thousands of pages in a matter of hours? Probably not. But the big spenders of both parties in Washington love keeping that under wraps. In fact, they bank on it – literally and figuratively.
For what it’s worth, I have legislation in the Senate to fix the issue, a resolution to give members ample time to read the bills before they vote. It would also increase transparency and incentivize legislation to be shorter.
Just imagine! What if we had one day for every 20 pages to read the bills before they were brought up for a vote? We would have had 137 days to truly consider whether the American people’s hard-earned tax dollars were worthy of all the ridiculous spending items included in the recently passed omnibus.
We would have had 137 days for the general public to discover exactly what special favors, in the form of earmarks, were snuck in under the auspices of essential budgetary items.