Hiding in Darkness

by TChris

The Washington Post notes that the House of Representatives is doing its dirty work in the dead of night or in the wee morning hours — “well past the deadlines for the evening news or the morning paper.”

The House voted at 6:07 a.m. yesterday to shave $39.7 billion from entitlement programs such as Medicare and Medicaid. At 5:04 a.m., lawmakers voted to open the Alaskan wilderness to oil exploration.

The House's original version of the budget-cutting bill, which was significantly tougher, passed Nov. 18 at 1:41 a.m. On July 28, the Central American Free Trade Agreement -- ardently opposed by labor unions, which had put excruciating pressure on industrial state lawmakers -- squeaked through the House just past midnight. On March 21, a measure that thrust the federal government into the Terri Schiavo right-to-die case passed the House at 12:45 a.m.

And on Nov. 22, 2003, in an extraordinary, three-hour roll call, the House took much of the pre-dawn morning to pass the bill adding prescription drug coverage to Medicare.

Maybe it’s time for a different kind of “sunshine” bill: one that requires our elected representatives to vote on bills (in the absence of a dire emergency) when people are awake and watching.

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    Re: Hiding in Darkness (none / 0) (#1)
    by Dadler on Tue Dec 20, 2005 at 10:23:33 AM EST
    What large, LARGE people. Stealing from the poor in the middle of the night. How Congressional of them.

    Re: Hiding in Darkness (none / 0) (#2)
    by MikeDitto on Tue Dec 20, 2005 at 10:30:08 AM EST
    Kinda makes you wish the papers would go back to two editions per day, doesn't it? What we don't read about in the morning edition we could read about in the evening edition. I'm not suggesting it's a solution in and of itself, but if it took the wind out of the sails of those in Congress who would like to subvert democracy in the middle of the night, maybe they would just stop doing that and go back to subverting democracy during the day when people are watching and still don't seem to care enough to do anything about it. Sorry, was that cynical?

    Re: Hiding in Darkness (none / 0) (#3)
    by Johnny on Tue Dec 20, 2005 at 10:37:16 AM EST
    yeabut yeabut! We are so much safer from turrusts now!

    Re: Hiding in Darkness (none / 0) (#4)
    by Talkleft Visitor on Tue Dec 20, 2005 at 11:05:35 AM EST
    This reminds me of the Pennsylvania legislature passing a 16 to 34 percent pay raise for themselves, judges, and other top state officials in the early morning hours on July 7th of this year. There was no public debate regarding the pay raise.