In the rush to make a deal on the debt ceiling by August 2, Congress forgot (or perhaps neglected) to include transparency requirements when it created the Joint Select Committee—aka, the Super Committee that is supposed to come up with $1.5 trillion in 10-year savings by Thanksgiving. Here’s what should be done, according to Brian Darling:
First, each committee in the House and Senate are mandated by law to transmit recommendations to the Super Committee by Oct. 14. All of those recommendations should be shared with the American public.
Next, there is no provision in the law mandating that the American people get to attend hearings or participate in the legislative process before the final report of the committee. At a minimum, a draft of the final proposal should be shared with the American public before the committee’s final vote in late November.
The hearings should be public. The law says that the Super Committee “may” hold hearings. The law does not force transparency on the members of the committee. Yet this legislative process needs to be open to the public to allow the American people to participate. Secret meetings and closed-door negotiations have no place in politics today.
Darling’s column provides the Legislative Lowdown each week at Human Events. Check it out.