By Molly K. Hooper - 09/25/09 05:10 PM EDT
Five Democrats have signed a discharge petition to force a vote on a measure changing House rules to require that legislation be posted for 72 hours online before a vote.
If the petition gains 218 signatures, it would force a vote on the bill. That means Republicans would have to gain another 36 signatures.
As of Friday morning, 178 lawmakers had signed on to the petition.
It is uncommon for lawmakers to sign a discharge petition to force their leaders into scheduling a vote, as it is seen as a rebuke of leadership.
“It's not my intention to embarrass anyone,” said Minnick. He said he was optimistic the measure would be scheduled for a vote regardless of the petition.
Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) on Thursday offered support for waiting 72 hours after the House healthcare bill is released to lawmakers before scheduling a vote.
The measure, sponsored by Rep. Greg Walden (R-Ore.), would require legislative text to be posted online for a minimum of 72 hours so that lawmakers, the public and journalists have time to read bills before the House votes on them.