GovTrack’s Written Testimony to the House of Representatives on Public Access to Legislative Information
This week, the House’s Committee on Appropriations Subcommittee will hold a hearing. In anticipation, Joshua Tauberer has published online the testimony he submitted.
- Create a public advisory committee on legislative transparency for stakeholders to engage systematically on this issue, including but not limited to access to data.
- Make the Bulk Data Taskforce permanent and fund the participation of the offices and agencies that are members of the taskforce.
- Support congressional publication of other important information in a structured data format, including amendments, House committee votes, the Biographical Directory (Bioguide), and committee witness documents.
- Continue to support efforts to modernize the House’s technology systems especially with respect to the work of committees and efforts to connect constituents to their representatives. Cultivate the legislative branch’s in-house technology talent as other parts of the government are doing.
- Increase House staff levels above their current historic lows so the House has sufficient capacity for policy analysis and oversight and direct the Congressional Research Service to report on on how staffing levels impact the House’s capacity to function, and make that report public.
- Systematically release the non-confidential Congressional Research Service reports to the general public. Years of experience has demonstrated that public access to these reports enhances the public debate without creating a commensurate burden.