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An ancient custom - what if government bills were read aloud?

John Browne, who represented Winchester in Parliament from 1979 to 1992, and now lives in Florida, wrote the Wall Street Journal -

In the British Parliament, from which Congress draws many customs, bills were read out by the clerks of both houses at three key stages to ensure that all members, including those who could not read, understood what they were voting for.

Since few, if any, members of Congress have read the health-care bill [it is 1,990 pages], it might be a good idea to have the bill read out at least once. Such a well-proven practice would take considerable time which also might ensure a more thorough understanding and democratic vote.

Comments (3)

Death Bredon:

Brilliant idea! The triple reading requirement would effectively constitute a "self filibuster" on overwrought American legislation.

Death Bredon:

I am unsure whether the Republican Senator from Oklahoma is reading this wonderful blog or the War Street Journal, but he threatening to have the Health Care Bill read aloud!

(Apparently, as I understand it, reading bills aloud still is the official default procedure even today, though Congress "waives" it as a matter of fairly long-standing custom these days.)


Thanks for the compliment. I rather think Senator Coburn is reading the WSJ.

We "waive" too many good customs today, and wave goodbye to freedom.

All the best

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