Following the passing of Tax Cuts and Jobs Act in the U.S. Senate on December 2nd 2017, this photo has been making the rounds on social media (facebook in my case). The tweet by Jesse Lehrich claims

literally all 52Rs voted against letting Senators read the new tax code before voting on it.

But I have yet to see any news articles describing this proposal (to delay the vote so senators may read the 407 page bill) or the described vote (52 - 48) despite numerous google searches.

Did the alleged proposal or vote occur?

literally all 52Rs voted against letting Senators read the new tax code before voting on it.


1 Answer 1


The claim refers to the fact that the 500-page tax bill was given to the senators immediately before the vote. Democratic minority leader Chuck Schumer moved to adjourn, to give senators the weekend to read the bill.

From the Senate record (page S7700, 77 in pdf viewer):

Screenshot of page

Mr. President, I move that the Senate adjourn until Monday, December 4, 2017, at 12 noon, and I ask for the yeas and nays.

The vote was defeated along party lines [h/t: @daniel].

This was reported by several news outlets, e.g. The Hill

While the claim that NO senators had read the bill before voting on it can not be confirmed with certainty, the claim "All Republican senators voted against the motion to adjourn" is true, as confirmed by the official records of the US Congress.

  • 13
    @Nebr This, of course, assumes, that those who voted for the bill didn't already know it's content. Or, even worse, didn't care as much about democracy and their place in it as about making the right bills for their clients. Commented Dec 6, 2017 at 16:51
  • 29
    @Nebr, ...given as the bill they passed unintentionally mooted the corporate R&D deduction, it seems likely that whether they felt informed enough and were informed enough to ensure that the bill accurately reflected their intent are... not strongly coupled. Commented Dec 6, 2017 at 16:51
  • 17
    @Nebr "the implicit claim that laws are passed only by making senators unable to read them is not corroborated." To me, the implicit claim here is that many senators were willing to pass a law that they had not even read themselves.
    – Josh
    Commented Dec 7, 2017 at 3:59
  • 14
    @Josh: It's completely fair to pass laws you don't read yourself. You have work to do and that's why you have staff to help you read and write the laws. The problem here is not that they didn't read the bills themselves, but that it seems like really nobody read them...
    – user541686
    Commented Dec 7, 2017 at 18:44
  • 13
    It should be understood that "letting Senators read the new tax code" would normally be interpreted as providing the time (and access to the document) for the senators' staff workers to analyze it to some reasonable degree. Commented Dec 7, 2017 at 23:52

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .