Blog — Senate

May 02, 2014

Congressional Data Coalition to Senate: “Publish Legislative Information in Digital Format”

By Daniel Schuman

Congressional Data CoalitionEarlier today, the Congressional Data Coalition submitted testimony to the Senate Appropriations Committee on improving public access to legislative information. The coalition made two requests.

First, we asked the Senate to concur with legislative language passed by the House of Representatives and direct the Secretary of the Senate to work to implement bulk access to bill status information. Second, we requested that the Senate authorize the Library of Congress and the Government Printing Office to publish bill summary information in bulk in the same fashion as does the House of Representatives.

The Congressional Data Coalition previously had submitted testimony to House appropriators requesting bulk access to bill status information. While this recommendation was not adopted in subcommittee, an amendment to this effect offered by Rep. Mike Quigley (D-IL) was adopted by the full committee in early April and passed by the House of Representatives yesterday.

The House of Representatives has led in making legislative information available to the public in digital formats. We hope that the Senate will engage in efforts to ensure that the public has access to congressional activities in a manner befitting our modern technological age.

The letter was jointly co-authored by Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW) and Civic Impulse, LLC, on behalf of the Congressional Data Coalition. It was signed by the Data Transparency Coalition, Legisworks.org, the National Priorities Project, the OpenGov Foundation, OpenTheGovernment.org, the R Street Institute, the Sunlight Foundation, WashingtonWatch.com, Jerry Hall of eCitizens.org and GovAlert.me, Molly Schwartz (an Associate Fellow at R Street Institute), and Gregory Slater.

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