Congress Should Take Rep. Frank’s Lead, Make Transparency the Rule, Not Exception

June 10, 2010

Congress Should Take Rep. Frank’s Lead, Make Transparency the Rule, Not Exception

Statement of David Arkush, Director, Public Citizen’s Congress Watch Division

We applaud House Financial Services Committee Chairman Barney Frank (D-Mass.) for committing to make the House-Senate negotiations on Wall Street reform the most transparent conference process in history. Chairman Frank has committed to allow television cameras in the meeting room and online broadcasts of the proceedings. Even more important, he has announced that members of the conference committee must propose changes at least a day before they are voted on, providing time for public scrutiny and debate.

Past conferences have been marred by secrecy and backroom deals that yield weak laws and breed cynicism about Washington. The American people are far better served by open and public proceedings. Chairman Frank’s commitment to a transparent conference process is historic, and we thank him for his leadership. Congress should follow his example and codify minimum transparency requirements for all future conference negotiations.

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Public Citizen is a national, nonprofit public interest advocacy organization based in Washington, D.C.