During his speech at a National Press Club luncheon, Democratic Congressman John Conyers (D-Mich.), the Chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, questioned the point and necessity of lawmakers reading the health care bill before voting upon it.
What’s The Point of Reading The Bill?
That is an almost unbelievable statement, both for its candor and for its gross irresponsibility. I think that there are few in Congress who would make such a statement, irrespective of how many of them are like Rep. Conyers and lack the ability to read and comprehend such a piece of legislation. Most would, at least, pretend to be marginally qualified to do their jobs.
I love these members, they get up and say, “Read the bill.”
What good is reading the bill if it’s a thousand pages and you don’t have two days and two lawyers to find out what it means after you read the bill?
— Rep. John Conyers (D-Mich.)
National Press Club luncheon
I’m not without a certain small – very small – sympathy for Rep. Conyers; any bill of over 1000 pages is painful to read. Yet it is Rep. Conyers’ job to read these bills and to develop at least a modicum of understanding of them before voting for or against them.
For that matter, how is it that the Chairman of the House Judiciary Committee requires a team of attorneys to explain a legal document to him? How and why is Rep. John Conyers a member of the House Judiciary Committee, much less its Chairman, if he cannot comprehend the text and meaning of such a document?
The question should not be, “What’s the point in reading the bill?” The question should be, “What’s the point in Conyers being in his position if he’s functionally illiterate?”