We need to think before we vote


To the editor:

Today’s congressional generation could learn much from the late Idaho Republican senator James McClure.

For 18 years, he read every word of every bill before voting on it. Members of Congress will have to take an Evelyn Wood speed-reading class to absorb the 1,200 pages contained in Democratic Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s $3 trillion COVID-19 stimulus bill. Only lobbyists and key congressional staff members (employed by the House and Senate leadership) who actually wrote the fine print on behalf of their bosses have any idea of the details.

There should be a two-week minimum time-out period. This would provide adequate time for members of Congress, ordinary citizens, the media, and independent good government watchdog groups the opportunity to understand all of the contents contained in this legislation. Everyone would also have the option under an open process to comment and discuss the benefits or consequences before the others vote up or down for adoption.

Congress could hold a series of public hearings in the light of day instead of meeting in the back room of Speaker Pelosi’s office.

If we print more money to pay for this, we run the risk of runaway inflation. We can’t count on tax revenue to cover this, and don’t want to borrow money to pay for it. The only nation that could lend us the money is China, which is why we are in this bind in the first place.

Larry Penner

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Larry Penner,