Stimulus Bill Too Lengthy to Read – But Not To Sign

4792740We've all been taught never to sign any document we haven't read. But that doesn't apply to the economic stimulus bill President Obama is signing today in Denver.

At 1,079 pages, the legislation hardly qualifies as a quick read.

Sure, President Obama has a good idea of what's in the bill, but he hasn't read it page for page, which is not unusual.

Rarely, if ever, does a president read a lengthy bill in its entirety before signing it into law.

So how does Mr. Obama know it's okay to sign?

"He has a team of the best legislative and economic experts in the country who advise him," says White House Deputy Press Secretary Bill Burton.

But mistakes do happen. Last May, Congress had to re-vote on the 1,768-page Farm Bill because 34 pages were missing from the version originally enacted into law.

If you want to read the stimulus bill for yourself, it's on the web at the Library of Congress website.

Type in the bill's number: H.R. 1.

The bill is even longer on the web – because it has about 670 pages of material that was struck out and replaced.

Or you can print a copy. It might make a nice belated Valentine's Day for someone. Or not.

Mark Knoller is a CBS News White House correspondent.
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    Mark Knoller is a CBS News White House correspondent.

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