Politics & Media
Feb 19, 2009, 06:57AM

Muddy windows

President Obama's compaign pledge to ratchet up transparency in the legislative process hasn't come to fruition.


Back during the presidential campaign, Barack Obama promised something he called “Sunlight Before Signing.” Obama complained that “too often bills are rushed through Congress and to the president before the public has the opportunity to review them.” So he pledged that, as president, he would “not sign any nonemergency bill without giving the American public an opportunity to review and comment on the White House Web site for five days.”

“Sunlight Before Signing” faded into darkness with the first bill that came across Obama’s desk. The new president signed the Lily  Ledbetter Fair Pay Act two days after it was passed by Congress — and without posting it on the White House Web site.

Then he signed the second bill of his administration, an update of the State Children’s Health Insurance Program, within hours after Congress passed it.

Both signatures clearly violated Obama’s campaign promise. Questioned by reporters, White House officials said they were “working out a series of procedures” to handle newly passed legislation. “We’re working through the technicalities of how that happens, and we’ll get a process together,” spokesman Robert Gibbs told the press last week.


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