Recent Press Releases

Thune Supports 72-hour Transparency Rule

Change to U.S. Senate Rules Would Require Bills, Budget Estimates Be Posted Online

October 14, 2009

Washington, D.C. —  Senator John Thune has cosponsored a Senate resolution (S. Res. 307) that would change the U.S. Senate Rules by requiring a bill and its cost estimate from the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) to be posted online for at least 72 hours before it is considered by any committee or on the Senate floor. A similar measure was offered as an amendment to the health care reform bill during consideration by the Senate Finance Committee, but it was defeated by the Democrat majority.

"I have spoken with many South Dakotans who are frustrated by the lack of transparency with which Congress conducts business," said Thune. "This common-sense change to Senate rules would allow the American people to see what their elected representatives are voting on. It would also give members of Congress more time to study and understand legislation before casting a vote."

Senator Thune hosted several town hall meetings in South Dakota during the month of August, where he heard many concerns about the lack of transparency in the legislative process and the lack of familiarity many Members of Congress have with legislation prior to voting. The meetings also provided South Dakotans the opportunity to offer their thoughts on issues such as health care reform, establishing a cap and trade program for greenhouse gasses, and out-of-control federal government spending.

"Congress is considering many weighty issues like health care that could have very real and immediate impacts on the lives and wallets of South Dakotans," added Thune. "Before we vote on complex bills, Congress should give their constituents the opportunity to read and better understand the legislation that will affect their daily lives, businesses, and our overall economy for years to come."