Democratic Congressmen admitted to not reading the National Defense Authorization Act before voting to pass it yesterday, once again underscoring how mammoth pieces of legislation are being green lighted with little oversight whatsoever.
The $585 billion dollar defense bill passed by a vote of 300-119 and now heads to the Senate for approval next week, but judging by the reaction of representatives when asked by CNS News if they had actually read the legislation, the 1,648-page bill may contain a few surprises that Congress hadn’t bargained for.
When asked if he had read the legislation, Rep. Jim Moran (D-VA) responded: “Of course not. Are you kidding?,” before adding that he did not plan to read the bill before voting on it because “I trust the leadership.”
Moran was unable to guarantee that House Majority Leader John Boehner and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid had read the bill, while asserting that their staff had read the text.
When asked if he had read the bill, Boehner didn’t give a straight answer, responding, “I’ve been through almost every part of that bill, as it was being put together. So, trust me, I am well aware of what’s in that bill.”
House Democratic Whip Steny Hoyer (D-Md.) was more direct in his answer. When asked if he had read the bill, Hoyer said “no,” adding that “the committees have gone over it” and he had seen an “outline” of the legislation.
Given the scope of the bill and its huge price tag, is it really too much to expect elected representatives to actually read the legislation they are voting on?
During the 2010 elections, the Republicans vowed to “Ensure that bills are debated and discussed in the public square by publishing the text online for at least three days before coming up for a vote in the House of Representatives.”
However, the NDAA was only published online late Tuesday night and voted on 36 hours later.
According to the Washington Post’s Jonathan Capehart, nothing exemplified “government overreach and arrogance” for Republicans more than Nancy Pelosi’s infamous quote about Obamacare in 2010 when she stated, “But we have to pass the bill so that you can find out what’s in it.”
Nothing has changed in the four years since Pelosi made that contemptuous comment.