More than 80 percent of Americans believe that Congress drafts long, complex bills to hide spending on special interests and to prevent constituents from understanding the legislation, according to a new Zogby poll.
Zogby asked this question:
“Some contend that the reason federal legislation is often thousands of pages long is because provisions to benefit special interests can be more easily buried in long bills, and so citizens cannot decipher the legislative language quickly enough to be able to communicate support or opposition to their Senators or Members of Congress before a vote is taken. Do you strongly agree, somewhat agree, somewhat disagree, or strongly disagree with this opinion?”
A resounding 83.5 percent of likely voters surveyed agreed at least “somewhat,” and 61.2 percent agreed “strongly.”
Among conservatives, 96.9 percent at least somewhat agreed, compared to 66.1 percent of liberals and 82.2 percent of moderates.
Colin Hanna, president of Let Freedom Ring, Inc. — a public policy organization that commissioned the poll — said the economic stimulus package and the healthcare reform bill likely influenced respondents’ opinions.
The final version of the economic stimulus package — the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act — was more than 400 pages long. The healthcare bill passed by the Senate surpassed 2,000 pages.
Hanna told CNSNews,
“Americans are realizing that members of Congress routinely do not read these bills.”
Sen. Tom Carper, D-Del., said earlier that he would not read the full text of the healthcare bill
“because reading the legislative language is among the more confusing things I’ve ever read in my life.”