U.S. Rep. Vern Buchanan is calling for openness as the new debt super committee prepares to begin deliberations over another massive deficit-reduction plan this fall.
“I introduced legislation Aug. 5 requiring the super committee’s work to be done in full public view,” the Florida Republican writes in an opinion piece at Politico
The Joint Committee on Deficit Reduction has until Nov. 23 to map out at least $1.2 trillion in budget savings over the next 10 years. The group reportedly will be taking a hard look at tax reform and entitlement programs.
“The super committee’s work — from start to finish — should be in open session. There must be no more closed-door meetings or smoke-filled rooms, where special interests flourish and the American people suffer,” writes Buchanan, who serves on the House Ways and Means Committee..
Buchanan refers President Barack Obama’s healthcare proposal as an example of how a lack of transparency in crucial deliberations can lead to deal-cutting at the expense of the American people.
In fact, the representative introduced similar legislation in 2009 calling for open public sessions during the final healthcare negotiations. His resolution didn’t make it to the House floor.
Buchanan cites the future debt plan’s sheer magnitude and “unprecedented expedited treatment” in Congress as reasons for mandating that deliberations be open to the American public.
“The time is now for Congress to recommit itself to the principles on which our democratic government was founded,” he writes.
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