Stimulus: What Transparency?

Scramble, Scribbles, and Obstruction

Minneapolis/Saint Paul/Feb. 13, 2009 - In Congress' hurried scramble to pass the Economic Stimulus bill (H.R.1), Congressional leadership prioritized speed, not public debate or an informed electorate.

"President Obama promised transparency to the American people. If this is the Administration's idea of  transparency, the public is going to be kept in the dark for the next four years," says Twila Brase, president of Citizens' Council on Health Care

CCHC cites the following items as examples of prioritizing speed, not public debate or an informed electorate:


1) Scribblings & Cross-Outs - Congressional leadership did not bother to put the bill together in its final form. Throughout the bill there are scribbled notes, inserts, crossed out sections, and clarifying arrows.

stim cross out


2) Patchwork of Provisions - the pages have been patched together with no sequential numbering, making it difficult to even discuss the bill.

For instance, Division A of the bill starts with three unnumbered pages followed by pages 2-3, followed by an unnumbered page, followed by pages 2 - 6, followed by page 6A, followed by pages 7 - 28, followed by an unnumbered page, followed by pages 2-10, followed by an unnumbered page, followed by pages 2-5, followed by an unnumbered page, followed by pages 2-26, followed by an unnumbered page, followed by pages 2-26, followed by nine unnumbered pages, followed by pages 2-11, followed by page 11A, followed by page 12, followed by an unnumbered page, followed by pages 2 - 13, followed by an unnumbered page (start of Health and Human Services spending - page 146 of pdf Section A document), followed by pages 2 - 21, followed by 21A, followed by pages 22 - 46, followed by an unnumbered page, followed by page 2, followed by an unnumbered page, followed by pages 2-28, followed by an unnumbered page, followed by pages 2-3, followed by an unnumbered page, followed by pages 2 - 19, followed by insert 19A, followed by pages 20, 20A, 21-41, insert 41A,  and 42-57, followed by an unnumbered page (start of Title XIII, Health Information Technology - page 288 of pdf Section A document), followed by pages 2 - 139, etc.


3) Access Delayed or Denied - The bill was not available online until after most of the public were in bed. Attempts to access the bill this morning were difficult at best. The Speaker's website was temporarily shut down. Attempts to download the bill or its divisions proved difficult or impossible from various committee websites. And the link on the Speaker's and the Rules Committee websites brought up a U.S. House page that said:

not found

 

Media Contact:

Twila Brase, President
Phone: 651-646-8935 (office)
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