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DATA Act clears Congress

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data spelled out with scrabble letters

The House of Representatives unanimously passed the Digital Accountability and Transparency Act (DATA Act) about 15 minutes ago. Following Senate passage earlier this month, the DATA Act only needs President Obama's signature to become law.

The DATA Act — introduced in the House by Reps. Darrell Issa, R-Calif., and Elijah Cummings, D-Md., and in the Senate by Sens. Mark Warner, D-Va., and Rob Portman, R-Ohio — represents a bipartisan, bicameral consensus. It builds on lessons learned from the Recovery Accountability and Transparency board and USASpending.gov. The bill will institute government-wide standards for spending data and, if implemented strongly, will give the public unprecedented access to federal spending information.

Sunlight has been advocating for the DATA Act for some time, and are thrilled to see it emerge from Congress. As we wrote while describing the history of the bill after it passed through the Senate, "Congress has taken a big step by passing the DATA Act. The challenge now will be ensuring that it is implemented effectively." We hope that the president swiftly signs the bill and we look forward to working with his administration to shed more light on federal spending.