When the Obamacare law was passed in 2010, Republican members of Congress complained bitterly about its length, at 2000 pages, and how they didn’t have an opportunity to read it – even though different iterations of the bill had been around for months.
But there was barely a peep from them this past week when their leaders sprung a 2000-page spending bill on them on Wednesday night and then the House approved it on Thursday and the Senate did the same a few hours later.
There are a lot of reasons for choosing to vote for or against a bill but not having an opportunity to read it shouldn’t be one of them. It’s their JOB, and if they do nothing else, they should read the bills on which they’re going to vote.
And at least some members of Congress understand that. Back in 2015, one of them told his colleagues that
We do not echo the people; we are supposed to represent the people. We are supposed to study up and do the homework that they cannot do. So when we do not follow regular order, when we rush to pass bills that a lot of us don’t understand, we are not doing our job.
Who said this? That would be Paul Ryan, and he said it in his first speech as Speaker of the House. He said that under his leadership things would change.
So who decided that the House should vote on a 2000-page bill just a few hours after the bill first landed on members’ desks?
That would be Paul Ryan, too.