Congressman Kerry Bentivolio

Representing the 11th District of Michigan

Rep. Bentivolio Introduces Read the Bills Act of 2013

May 6, 2013
Press Release
Bill would allow time for review, improve readability, require roll call votes

WASHINGTON, DC –  Today, Congressman Kerry Bentivolio introduced the Read the Bills Act of 2013. This legislation makes important changes to the way Congress does business by giving ample time to review legislation before it is voted on, requiring that all votes on passage be taken by roll call, and by providing that legislation shows in context how it modifies existing law.

It is a basic moral question that a member of Congress should only vote to pass legislation having read and understood it. The Read the Bills Act accomplishes this by requiring that every vote on a bill’s passage take place no less than 7 days after the text of the bill is available on-line to the public where it can easily be found. There is an exception to the “7 day rule” for declarations of war.

“It is our duty to be transparent to the constituents we serve. This legislation will increase transparency and ensure that Congress doesn’t pass legislation to find out what is in it,” said Rep. Bentivolio. “Every law affects how the American people live and it is a dereliction of the Oath of Office to pass laws without knowing what they are.”

In seeking to show how legislation modifies existing law, the Read the Bills Act of 2013 provides that legislation uses the underline and strikethrough devices to make legislation dramatically easier for Congress to review.

To read the bill in full detail, please visit http://bentivolio.house.gov/read-the-bills-act