Obama, Transparency and Stimulus

On the campaign trail, Barack Obama promised that bills coming to his desk from Congress would sit for five days so the public could read, analyze and comment on them before he signed them into law. In yesterday’s Cato Daily Podcast, Jim Harper, Cato’s director of information policy studies, discussed Obama’s record on fulfilling that promise.

Of course, Obama’s guarantee to let a bill sit for five days did not include emergency legislation. As for the stimulus bill, should it be considered “emergency legislation?” Harper says no.

A five day difference from the time it goes into effect is very small, especially in regard to the fact that most of the people who are expecting to change their behavior in light of the passage of the bill will be able to do that during the five day pendency of it…it should sit for five days before it gets signed, according to the promise that President Obama made during his campaign.