August 10 2011 at 03:59 PM

The debt compromise and democracy: Will the process be transparent?

The debt compromise and democracy: Will the process be transparent?

This week, the United States Congress passed a compromise to raise the debt ceiling in exchange for spending caps and future programmatic cuts, and President Obama signed the measure almost immediately. Many of these cuts will be determined by a 12 member “Super Congress,” comprised of six members of each party, from both chambers.

The Sunlight Foundation asks how transparent the Super Congress will be in their proceedings later this year. Sunlight states that the rules do not require meetings be webcast, nor is the Super Congress required to make the suggestions of other committees public. They also ask that members of the joint committee go above and beyond normal requirements to disclose meetings with and donations from lobbyists.

The Huffington Post also highlights this lack of transparency, noting that the bill contains “few public disclosure provisions.” While the final product is required to be made public, the new law does not require the committee’s findings to be posted online, and that there are few transparency requirements in the process of negotiations.

Additionally, the Campaign for Stronger Democracy reviews the negotiation process, and asks some important questions about democracy and the upcoming Super Congress process.

Meanwhile, Stateline reports that the jury is still out on how the deal will affect individual states. While some governors have come out in support of the fact that a deal got done at all, others showed concern over Medicaid funding.