Quigley Applauds Inclusions of CRS Language in Legislative Branch Appropriations Report
Today, U.S. Representative Mike Quigley (IL-05), Co-Founder of the Congressional Transparency Caucus and member of the House Appropriations Committee, released the following statement on language included in the Legislative Branch Appropriations Subcommittee report directing the Congressional Research Service (CRS) to make their non-confidential reports available to the public. Rep. Quigley has introduced bipartisan legislation to open CRS reports to the public during every session of Congress since 2012.
“This a major victory for open, effective government that prioritizes access and accountability,” said Rep. Quigley. “As trust in Washington continues to wane, practical measures like these will ensure the American people have more insight into the legislative decision making and public policy proposals that impact their lives. Bridging the gap between constituents and elected officials through twenty-first century updates to our processes will strengthen our democracy. After years of championing this change, I am excited to see CRS reports become one step closer to public consumption.”
In May, Rep. Quigley introduced the Equal Access to Congressional Research Service Reports Act, which directs CRS to publish its reports on govinfo.gov – a site managed by the Government Printing Office (GPO) that will serve as a one-stop shop for public information.
CRS is Congress’ think tank, and its reports are relied upon by academics, businesses, judges, policy advocates, students, librarians, journalists, and policymakers for accurate and timely analysis of important policy issues. Unfortunately, information compiled by the CRS is not publically available. Since 1914, reports have only been available for request through House and Senate offices and bipartisan lawmakers agree it is time to bring CRS into the 21st century. Not only is requesting CRS reports through House and Senate offices time-consuming, the public often finds the easiest way to get reports is by paying for access through third-party subscription services.
The bipartisan Transparency Caucus, which Rep. Quigley co-founded in 2010, serves as a resource for Members of Congress on bipartisan, open government initiatives. The caucus promotes legislation that requires federal information to be freely accessible, as well as advocates for new programs that support transparency.