A Guide for Appropriators on Opening Up Congressional Information and Making Congress Work Better

For the fifth year in a row, today members of the Congressional Data Coalition submitted testimony to House Appropriators on ways to open up legislative information. The bipartisan coalition focused on tweaking congressional procedures and releasing datasets that, in the hands of third parties, will strengthen Congress’ capacity to govern.Continue Reading

House Appropriators Look at Legislative Branch Transparency

At last week’s full committee markup of the Legislative branch’s appropriations bill, Rep. Mike Quigley (D-IL) offered an amendment that set the stage for more transparency around Congressional Research Service reports; Rep. Wasserman Schultz (D-FL) successfully pushed for an amendment to create a House Technology Task Force; and Rep. Mike Honda (D-CA) offered and withdrew an amendment to create a task force on establishing a bicameral chief technology officer.

Also debated were cuts in funding to the Government Publishing Office’s online document repository FDSys and the defunding of the Open World Leadership Council, an international legislative exchange program. Included in the final appropriations bill was the continuation of a cost-savings effort to limit or ban the distribution of print copies of documents to congressional offices, including bills and resolutions, the Congressional Record, the U.S. Code, Reports of Disbursements, and the Daily Calendar, in favor of online access.Continue Reading