"We're going to read this document," Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee, D-Texas, said Monday, referring to the debt ceiling agreement reached Sunday night. "We're going to understand it before we vote for it."
Lee, who helped rush the 2,000-page Affordable Care Act through the House before nearly anyone had a chance to read it, promised to pore over the 74-page Budget Control Act in what turned out to be an unsuccessful effort to stop trillions of dollars in federal spending cuts.
Last year, after the passage of Obamacare, Republicans running for the House included in their "Pledge to America" a promise to allow the public sufficient time to read bills before lawmakers voted on them. "We will give all representatives and citizens at least three days to read the bill before a vote," the pledge said.
Then came the debt bill, which was finished Sunday evening and released to the public Monday morning. In their race to finish work Monday night, well before the Treasury Department's midnight Tuesday default deadline, Republicans ended up violating their own read-the-bill pledge.