Boehner Suggestion on White House Web Site Gets Most Support

Posted June 1, 2009 at 8:41pm

House Minority Leader John Boehner’s (R-Ohio) idea for a 72-hour public review period of major spending bills received nearly 1,000 votes on a White House Web site dedicated to opening the process of government to the general public.

Just three hours before the poll closed, Boehner’s proposal had attracted 967 votes of support, more than any other idea on a Web site hosted by the National Academy of Public Administration and reached through the president’s Web site, whitehouse.gov.

The post had received about 170 votes against the idea.

The brainstorming phase, which included Boehner’s submission, ends at midnight Monday.

The second of the three-step Open Government Initiative — called the discussion phase — will begin on Wednesday.

“The goal is to experiment with mechanisms for effective citizen participation in order to complement the know-how of government employees with the expertise and intelligence of the American people,— according to the initiative’s Web site.

Boehner spokesman Michael Steel said the Minority Leader’s post was successful because the American people recognized that the current system is flawed.

“The American people understand that arrogant secrecy in Washington is the enemy of good government,— Steel said in an e-mail. “We certainly hope the Administration — and House Democratic Leaders — have learned their lesson, and will keep their promises to post bills online in the future.—

In his post on the Web site, Boehner said his 72-hour review proposal which “would help to prevent taxpayer-funded outrages such as the empty Airport for No One’ in the congressional district of Democratic Rep. John Murtha (D-PA) and huge bonuses for [American International Group Inc.] executives, is a reform proposal that been advocated by nonpartisan organizations such as the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC), a coalition of reform-minded state legislators, and the pro-transparency Sunlight Foundation.—

Republicans were incensed in February 2009 when they were given less than 24 hours to review the 1,000-plus-page $789 billion Democratic stimulus package before they were asked to vote on passage.

The non-partisan Sunlight Foundation has listed eight case studies on their Web site of bills that they believe Congress should have taken more time to consider before pushing through the House and Senate.