Quigley Applauds Launch of New Website for Congressional Research Reports
Today, U.S. Representative Mike Quigley (IL-05), who serves as co-chair and co-founder of the Transparency Caucus, applauded the launch of a new public website that will house Congressional Research Service reports in one central location. Rep. Quigley has been pushing for greater access to CRS reports since 2011.
“Every year, thousands of non-confidential reports are compiled by CRS for use by Congressional offices, but starting today, they will finally be shared with the American people,” said Rep. Quigley. “This new website will serve as a one-stop shop for taxpayer-funded policy analysis, and I welcome its long-anticipated launch and the important role it will play in promoting government openness and accountability. Moving forward, we must continue to pursue practical policies that equip our constituents with the resources and tools they need to better understand key issues, as well as the legislative actions we take on their behalf.”
In May of 2017, Rep. Quigley re-introduced bipartisan legislation to open Congressional Research Service (CRS) reports to the public. The Equal Access to Congressional Research Service Reports Act directs the Congressional Research Service to publish its reports on govinfo.gov – a site managed by the Government Printing Office (GPO). This legislation was included in the FY18 omnibus spending bill passed out of Congress and signed into law in March 2018.
The website’s initial release contains only a certain subset of CRS content, but the Library of Congress says more will be added.
“It is imperative that all of CRS’ informative, unbiased, nonpartisan reports are added to the website as soon as possible, and I will continue to monitor the status of these updates to ensure the American public has the wealth and breadth of information they deserve,” continued Rep. Quigley.
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 publicly 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.