I received this via e-mail and I wanted to share it, because I agree with this 100%:
Here's something terrifying: Congress passed the $787 billion Stimulus Bill and we're pretty sure the people who voted on that legislation didn't actually read it. And for sure you didn't have a chance to look at it, either. That's not the first time important legislation has rushed through Congress in a matter of hours. By hurrying to vote on these bills, members of Congress might miss an earmark or tax break that could have a lasting impact on you and your community.
Congress just passed the largest piece of spending legislation in history and no one Read The Bill. Let's make sure this doesn't happen again. Demand that they Read The Bill and sign our petition now:
Read The Bill is a commonsense solution -- we want Congress to post all bills online for 72 hours before they are debated. That gives members of Congress - and you - three days to read legislation and consider how it could potentially affect each of us in our daily lives. A 72-hour rule would also give you a chance to let your representative in Congress know what you like, or don't like, about a bill before he or she votes.
Here are some examples of bills that were passed when members of Congress only had a few hours to read each one.
-TARP bailout bill (2008): rushed through Congress with few provisions for accountability
-Housing and Economic Recovery Act of 2008: Congress' Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac bailout
-PATRIOT Act (2001): rushed through Congress and, consequently, expanded the federal government's ability to gather intelligence, engage in domestic surveillance and secret searches and detain immigrants with little restraint
Just yesterday, the House of Representatives approved a $410 billion omnibus spending bill. Unlike the Stimulus Bill, it was posted online for two days, which allowed members of Congress - and citizens, alike - to read and discuss the bill for a short period of time before it was considered in Congress. But even that is not enough. Let's remove the disparity and uncertainty that makes some bills available while others are cloaked in secrecy. Let's continue to allow everyone to Read The Bill for at least 72 hours before it is considered in Congress.
Thank you for your time on this important matter.
Executive Director, Sunlight Foundation