House Resolution 688 - WSFA.com Montgomery Alabama news.

House Resolution 688

HRES 688 IH

109th CONGRESS

2d Session

H. RES. 688

Amending the Rules of the House of Representatives to require that legislation and conference reports be available on the Internet for 72 hours before consideration by the House, and for other purposes.

IN THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES

February 16, 2006

Mr. BAIRD submitted the following resolution; which was referred to the Committee on Rules


RESOLUTION

Amending the Rules of the House of Representatives to require that legislation and conference reports be available on the Internet for 72 hours before consideration by the House, and for other purposes.

    Resolved,

SECTION 1. PURPOSE.

    The purpose of this resolution is to:

      (1) Modernize the operations of the House of Representatives using information technology that has transformed and increased the efficiency of many aspects of American society such as financial services and markets, transportation, manufacturing, agriculture, and commerce with consumers and businesses.

      (2) Slow the explosive growth of the $8,000,000,000,000 national debt of the United States, reduce excessive annual budget deficits, and control the size and scope of government by ensuring that there is adequate scrutiny of proposals for new and amended laws, taxes, and expenditures.

      (3) Enhance public participation in American democracy and improve the quality of proposed legislation by allowing the opportunity for its review by State and local government officials, small business owners, large business leaders, journalists, scientists, academics, labor leaders, nonprofit organization leaders, authors of weblogs, and interested citizens.

      (4) Help restore public trust in government and enhance respect for the House of Representatives and the Congress by ensuring that their operations are conducted with the openness, order, and dignity befitting the world's oldest democracy.

SEC. 2. AMENDMENTS TO RULE XIII REGARDING AVAILABILITY OF LEGISLATION AND REPORTS.

    (a) Clause 4 of rule XIII of the Rules of the House of Representatives is amended--

      (1) in its side heading, by inserting `legislation and' before `reports';

      (2) by striking subparagraph (1) and inserting the following new subparagraph:

    `(1) Except as specified in subparagraph (2), it shall not be in order to consider in the House a measure or matter until 72 hours (excluding Saturdays, Sundays and holidays except when the House is in session on such a day) after the text of such measure or matter (and, if the measure or matter is reported, the text of all accompanying reports) have been made available to Members, Delegates, the Resident Commissioner, and the general public pursuant to subparagraph (3).';

      (3) by adding at the end of paragraph (a) the following new subparagraph:

    `(3) Without further amendment during the 72 hours, the full and official text of the measure or matter and each committee report thereon shall be posted continuously by means of the Internet in such a manner that they are conveniently accessible using existing technology, anonymously and at no cost, in a format that is searchable by text.'; and

      (4) in paragraph (c), by striking `the third calendar day' and inserting `at least 72 hours' and by striking `on' and inserting `after'.

    (b) Rule XIII of the Rules of the House of Representatives is further amended--

      (1) in clause 5(b), by striking `and the Resident Commissioner' and inserting `the Resident Commissioner, and the general public'; and

      (2) in clause 6(c), by striking `or' at the end of subparagraph (1), by striking the period at the end of subparagraph (2) and inserting a semicolon, and by adding at the end the following new subparagraphs:

      `(3) a rule or order proposing a waiver of clause 4(a) of rule XIII or of clause 8(a) or 8(b) of rule XXII, unless a question of consideration of the rule is adopted by a vote of two-thirds of the Members voting, a quorum being present; or

      `(4) a rule or order proposing a waiver of subparagraph (3), unless a question of consideration of the rule is adopted by a vote of two-thirds of the Members voting, a quorum being present.'.

SEC. 3. AMENDMENTS TO RULE XXII REGARDING AVAILABILITY OF CONFERENCE REPORTS AND AMENDMENTS REPORTED IN DISAGREEMENT.

    Clause 8 of rule XXII of the Rules of the House of Representatives is amended--

      (1) by striking subparagraph (a) and inserting the following new paragraph:

    `(a)(1) It shall not be in order to consider a conference report until 72 hours (excluding Saturdays, Sundays and holidays except when the House is in session on such a day) after the conference report and the accompanying joint explanatory statement have been available to Members, Delegates, the Resident Commissioner, and the general public pursuant to subparagraph (2).

    `(2) Without further amendment during the 72 hours, the full and official texts of the conference report and the accompanying signed joint explanatory statement shall be posted continuously by means of the Internet in such a manner that they are conveniently accessible using existing technology, anonymously and at no cost, in a format that can be searched by text.';

      (2) in paragraph (b), by striking subparagraphs (1) and (2) and inserting the following new subparagraphs:

    `(1) It shall not be in order to consider a motion to dispose of a Senate amendment reported in disagreement by a conference committee until at least 72 hours (excluding Saturdays, Sundays and holidays except when the House is in session on such a day) after the report in disagreement and any accompanying statement have been available to Members, Delegates, the Resident Commissioner, and the general public pursuant to subparagraph (2).

    `(2) Without further amendment during the 72 hours, the full and official texts of a Senate amendment reported in disagreement and any accompanying statement shall be posted continuously by means of the Internet in such a manner that they are conveniently accessible using existing technology, anonymously and at no cost, in a format that can be searched by text.'.

SEC. 4. PROTECTION OF CLASSIFIED INFORMATION.

    Nothing in this resolution or any amendment made by it shall be interpreted to require or permit the declassification or posting on the Internet of classified information in the custody of the House of Representatives. Such classified information shall be made available to Members in a timely manner as appropriate under existing laws and rules.

SEC. 5. SENSE OF THE HOUSE REGARDING AMENDMENTS.

    It is the sense of the House that, with the objective of preventing circumvention of clause 4(a) of rule XIII of the Rules of the House of Representatives that the Committee on Rules should develop standardized policies and procedures to require that proposed amendments (except those offered under an open rule) that are major in size, scope, or cost be posted on the Internet for an appropriate number of hours.

END

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