U.S. Senator Johnny Isakson (R-Ga.) announced Monday that he is co-sponsoring legislation "that would make the text and cost of all legislation publicly available on the internet at least 72 hours before senators debate or vote on the proposal," according to a press release from the senator’s office.
"We must take the time to establish transparency in the legislative process," Sen. Isakson said in the press release. "This legislation will help ensure that members of Congress as well as the general public have the opportunity to thoroughly review legislation before it is considered as well as find out what it will cost American taxpayers."
We support the idea wholeheartedly. This appears to be one more way to open up the process of government and make it more accountable to taxpayers.
But forgive us for wondering why Sen. Isakson and his 27 co-sponsors are just now pushing for the measure, which is known as S.1772. After all, the need for transparent government and the public’s right to know didn’t happen overnight. It’s always been there.
Our guess is this has become a hot button issue for Isakson and co-sponsors because of the attempt by Senate Democrats to pass some form of health care reform. But that doesn’t mean it a bad idea. After all, it would have been good to have this enlightened attitude toward the public’s right to know a year ago, when a Republican administration was cooking up a $700 billion bailout of Wall Street.
It does mean that those who seek transparency should practice what they preach. In this case, that means telling constituents what prompted S.1722 and how much it will cost taxpayers.
- Bryan County News