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Public Statements

Read the Bills Act

Floor Speech

Location: Washington, DC

Mr. BENTIVOLIO. Mr. Speaker, I rise today to introduce the Read the Bills Act to provide transparency and accountability from all of us to our constituents.

Read the Bills would provide that Members of Congress and the public have 1 week to review any bill and proposed amendments before voting on passage. It requires legislation be passed by rollcall, and it makes legislation easier to read by requiring that we show, in context, how bills would affect existing law.

It is a basic moral question that a Member of Congress should only vote to pass legislation having read and understood it. Every law affects how the American people live: who prospers and who suffers, who receives help and who is hurt, who is regulated and who benefits. We cannot pass laws without knowing what they do.

No legislation should be passed under cover of procedure. It is our duty to be transparent to our constituents, and I hope Members on both sides of the aisle will agree that this is an important step to rebuilding the trust between the American people and Congress.

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