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Immigration Back in the Senate; Transparency Back in the House

June 25, 2007 - by David Moore

Looking ahead to the week in Congress, our colleagues at Congresspedia have put together an overview of the action in the Senate. First up is the resurrection of the immigration bill (formerly S.1348, the second most-viewed bill on OpenCongress), now dubbed S.1639 — Sen. Mel Martinez (R-FL) is pictured at right answering questions about the bill. Second is the Employee Free Choice Act, passed in the House as H.R.800, the fifth most-viewed bill on the site, introduced in the Senate as S.1041. Third is the Senate’s consideration of the Defense Appropriations Bill for 2008 (passed in the House as H.R.1585, introduced in the Senate as S.1547 — not to mention two other spending bills that each top $21 billion. As former Senator Everett Dirksen (R-IL) is sometimes attributed as saying, “A billion here, a billion there, pretty soon you’re talking real money”…

Importantly, Rep. Brian Baird (D-WA) has re-introduced a noteworthy bill furthering government transparency in the House. H.Res504 would “require that legislation and conference reports be available on the Internet for 72 hours before consideration by the House” - a positive and achievable step forward, our support goes out to its six Congressional co-sponsors. For more info, consult the full text of H.Res504, including this admirable goal: “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.” Thanks to Ellen Miller of the Sunlight Foundation for the heads-up on the bill’s re-introduction. The legislation receives a thumbs-up from Josh Tauberer on The Open House Project, and receives additional context and support from Paul Blumenthal on the Sunlight Foundation’s blog today. We encourage you to contact your Representative and let them know that you support H.Res504 and that you’ll be watching his or her vote - if you receive a response, let us know by sending us a tip. In the meantime, we hope you’ll blog about this transparency bill (referring to it as “H.Res504”) and a link to your blog post will likely be picked up on the bill’s page here on OpenCongress.

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