Saturday, October 31, 2009

Foxx continues transparency push, calls for open healthcare debate

The following is from a Oct 27 press release from NC Congresswoman Virginia Foxx.

Foxx continues transparency push, calls for open healthcare debate

Washington, DC—Congresswoman Virginia Foxx today cosponsored a measure (H.Res. 847) to ensure that the process of finalizing healthcare legislation is open to public scrutiny. H.Res. 847 seeks to change the current practice of negotiating the final details of major legislation behind closed doors.

“This is serious business,” Foxx said. “A major overhaul of health care will impact one sixth of our economy and if things don’t change these decisions that affect every America will be made behind closed doors. If there’s nothing to hide, why not throw open the doors and let the public watch?”

Health care legislation is expected to be brought up for a vote in the coming weeks. House and Senate leaders are currently combining disparate pieces of legislation into a final bill in closed meetings. H.Res. 847 will make the House of Representatives more open and responsive to citizens by opening up these closed meetings.

“The lawmaking process is more than just the final votes on legislation,” Foxx said. “It involves committee amendments and votes, Rules Committee hearings, and conference committees. Taxpayers deserve to see the whole legislative sausage machine, not just the shiny, shrink-wrapped package that gets sent to the president for his signature.”

Foxx is also a supporter of additional rule changes in the House to make lawmaking more open to public input and scrutiny:

Cosponsor of a broad, bipartisan bill authored by Democrat Rep. Brian Baird that requires that any legislation be posted online in its final form for 72 hours before it is voted on.
Original cosponsor of H.Res. 835, a measure to ban “phantom amendments” by requiring all committees to post bills online within 24 hours of committee approval.
Original cosponsor of H.Res. 869, to require cameras in the Rules Committee hearing room. The Rules Committee is the body that decides what legislation comes before the House and how it is debated.

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