Talking Supercommittee TransparencyOctober 31, 2011 - by Donny Shaw
Every activist knows that to influence legislation you have to get involved at the earliest stage in the legislative process you possibly can. Congress knows this too, and it’s why the created the supercommittee — to prevent the public from having influence in discussions on long-term budget, spending and tax issues. The supercommittee process shuts the public out until the very last step by concentrating power in just 12 lawmakers and establishing special fast-track rules that make any engagement beyond “yes” or “no” impossible. But it’s not shutting out the corporations and special interests that have been able to engage with the committee through expensive access lobbyists. Transparency wouldn’t fix all the problems with the supercommittee — its structure is anti-democratic and its mission is flawed — but it would at least level the playing field a bit.