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How Congress Talks about Sunshine Week

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Sunshine Week 2013 is well underway. While yesterday we looked at how well our state government made information available online, today we turn our attention to Capitol Hill.

This week is about supporting policies that maintain our right to know and the importance of open government. So how does Congress do just that? Using Sunlight’s Capitol Words tool, let’s take a look at how lawmakers talk about Sunshine Week.

Democrats say “FOIA” the most in Congress, with Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-VT) leading the pack. The senator is also at the top when “right to know” is mentioned in the Congressional Record.

The “open government” chart (see above) on Capitol Words illustrates how Congress began using the term more and more in recent years. You can see lots of spikes in 2007 when Congress was debating and passing the Honest Leadership and Open Government Act.

And since Sunshine Week coincides with the birthday of James Madison, here is how Congress remembers our fourth president.