The United States Senate has a rule that senators will have 48 hours to read a new bill prior to voting on it.June 29th, they were give about 30 minutes to read the transportation and student loan bill that among dozens and dozens of things, kept federal direct stafford loans at 3.4%, stopping them from doubling July 1st. Of course, it is only a one year extension, and there are many cuts to the loan program buried in the bill.
Problem is, no one has been able to read the 599 page document! Like most if not all legislation, there are paragraphs that refer to specific sections of the bill itself, as well as to current law as described in the Federal Register. Imagine trying to figure out what the hell this paragraph actually means?
‘(2) ACCRUAL OF INTEREST ON FEDERAL DIRECT STAFFORD
LOANS.—Notwithstanding subsection (f)(1)(A) or any other provision
of this title and beginning on the date upon which a borrower
who is enrolled in a program of education or training (including
a course of study or program described in paragraph
(3)(B) or (4)(B) of section 484(b)) for which borrowers are otherwise
eligible to receive Federal Direct Stafford Loans, becomes
ineligible for such loan as a result of paragraph (1), interest on
all Federal Direct Stafford Loans that were disbursed to such
borrower on or after July 1, 2013, shall accrue. Such interest
shall be paid or capitalized in the same manner as interest on
a Federal Direct Unsubsidized Stafford Loan is paid or capitalized
under section 428H(e)(2).
This one small paragraph on one page of the 599 page document refers the reader to seven other places. No one can correctly say what this one paragraph means without first checking out those seven references. And the entire bill is written this way, as is normal.
How the hell did anyone who voted on this bill have a freaking clue what they were voting on???
Which is probably why the Senate has a rule that gives everyone at least 48 hours to read a bill before voting on it. You have to assume a senator’s staff would divide up the bill and each read parts of it and then prepare a recap for the senator. Even that would be difficult in 48 hours. In thirty minutes? Impossible.
This is not a Democrat issue, or a Republican issue. Both parties are to blame for this. It is dishonest. It is unprofessional. It is unethical. And, it is against the rules of the senate! Yet, these scumbag politicians, from the right and left, do it almost every day. Forget Occupy Wall Street. We need a Occupy DC campaign, where citizens occupy the senate and house until they agree to follow their own rules!
Some Blogging Guy