Library of Congress, National Archives Host Wikipedia Edit-a-Thon

On Friday, the Library of Congress, the National Archives, and Wikimedia D.C. hosted an Edit-a-Thon, focused on updating committee information on Wikipedia. This is the second such event, and the first to be hosted at the Library of Congress.Continue Reading

Whip Watch 2.0

On Thursday, Democratic Whip Steny Hoyer launched Whip Watch 2.0, a free app that provides the public (and congressional staffers) a real-time mobile view into the Democrats’ whip operation. In addition to all the neat features we wrote about when Whip Watch first launched in June 2015, it allows users to see vote totals, including vote […]

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Upcoming Tech and Congress Events

#HouseOfCode Clear your schedule Tuesday, April 4th, from 4:30-7:30 to celebrate the accomplishments of 123 Members of Congress who participated in the 2016 Congressional App Challenge. Located at the Rayburn House Office Building, this reception and demo day will feature remarks from Reps. Goodlatte, Eshoo, Royce, and Moulton. RSVP here! CodeX FutureLaw 2017 On April […]

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The House Rules Should be Publicly Available in Advance of Their Adoption

At the start of the 115th Congress, there was a fight over whether the Office of Congressional Ethics should continue its existence. I won’t get into the merits of the disagreement here (although I’ve written about it elsewhere), but how it occurred is interesting. The Office of Congressional Ethics is one of the many offices and […]

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The House of Representatives Orders Seconds on Legislative Transparency

Once again, at the start of the 115th Congress, the House of Representatives included an order in its rules package in support of public access to legislative information. (m) BROADENING AVAILABILITY OF LEGISLATIVE DOCUMENTS IN MACHINE-READABLE FORMATS.—The Committee on House Administration, the Clerk, and other officers and officials of the House shall continue efforts to […]

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Ending GovTrack’s bulk data and API

Open legislative data has been a core part of GovTrack’s mission since 2005, when there wasn’t very much of it. We were the first to provide comprehensive information about Congress’s legislative activities in an open, structured data format — a technical format that software developers (building websites and apps), journalists, and researchers used for new […]

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Why I Came To Believe CRS Reports Should be Publicly Available (and Built a Website to Make it Happen)

I first started working for Congress as a senate intern in September 2001. I was 23 years old and had no experience working on policy. I found myself responding to letters from constituents on issues that I’d never heard of previously. It was then that I first encountered the Congressional Research Service and its reports. […]

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Five bad arguments against public access to CRS reports

This week the progressive organization Demand Progress, along with the Congressional Data Coalition, launched EveryCRSReport.com. This new project site makes available, with the help of friendly Congressional offices, all Congressional Research Service (CRS) reports on Congress’ own internal site. The public now has access to more than 8,200 reports in one searchable database (you can […]

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It’s Time To Make Taxpayer-Funded Congressional Reports Available To The Public

This piece was originally published in the Daily Caller and co-authored by R Street Institute technology policy program director Zach Graves. American taxpayers support the $140 million a year expenditures of the Congressional Research Service, an independent and highly influential think tank housed within the Library of Congress. The agency’s mission is to advise members and committees […]

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House launches a public-facing phone directory for all staff

As promised at the 2016 Legislative Data and Transparency Conference, the House of Representatives launched a public-facing phone directory for all its staff. This is a tremendously useful tool. It provides authentic, up-to-date information on the people who work in the people’s house. While it (reasonably) does not contain email addresses, it has phone numbers, […]

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