"The most transparent legislation in American history"

There was a lively progressive-conservative debate about the House vote on the stimulus bill on the Feb 12 edition of MSNBC's Hardball with Chris Matthews. Brian Bilbray (R-California) defended the unanimous "no" vote on the stimulus package (formally known as the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009) by asserting that the Democrats had prepared the bill behind closed doors in a back room, with the implication that he and others of his party did not have access to it.

Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D-Florida), speaking quickly to make her point in the closing seconds of the segment, countered this by saying, "Anyone who wants to know what's in this bill can go to www.house.gov/appropriations" and look at not only the full, searchable text of the bill, but summaries, amendments and changes, floor debates, and other information. (Emphasis hers.)

"This is the most transparent legislation in American history," said Wasserman Schultz.

That's quite a statement, but it was clear that she was not going to accept anyone saying it was not open to public view when an effort clearly has been made to make it available and searchable. Everyone wondering where the money is going should take a look at the PDFs on the house.gov site.

One thing that I saw in it, that might be of possible interest to people reading this blog post, is Division B, Title VI - Broadband Communications. It provides for broadband wireless and wired infrastructure and the release of funds in the form of grants to develop wireless access in areas that are currently underserved.