So often on Capitol Hill, legislators spend weeks or months creating bills under a fair amount of public scrutiny, only to cut a deal behind closed doors in the final hours and push it through both the House and the Senate before reporters and experts have had a chance to examine it. The Wall Street reform bill is supposed to be different: it will be completed in a formal House-Senate conference, in front of cameras and with all votes recorded, thanks to conference chairman Barney Frank. But aides on the hill and outside progressive groups both say there's still too much room for funny business and are pressing Congress to make the end-stage negotiations even more transparent.
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"The key thing we want is we want the legislation put online, the differences put online, the issues they're going to talk about put online," says Robert Borosage, co-director of the Campaign for America's Future. "We don't want them to make decisions--to take stuff off the table--without doing it in public."