Some Stimulus Links

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According to various sources, the final stimulus bill (in the form of the conference report) was made publicly availabe last night around 10:45 pm through the web sites of the House Appropriations Committee and the House Rules Committee. The House just passed the conference report less than an hour ago.

ProPublica has some of the best resources for the stimulus bill including this page where you can download all the parts of the final 1000+ page bill. Also good from ProPublica is their detailed chart of spending provisions in the final bill.

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  • Oh, forgot the mention, you can also review it and make comments directly on the whitehouse.gov site:

    http://www.whitehouse.gov/the_press_office/arra_public_review/

  • The full text of the bill can also be read at

    http://www.co-ment.net/text/824/
    (give it a moment to load, it’s 2+ mb of text)

    This uses a system which allows people to collaboratively annotate comments directly on individual sentences of the bill. It also allows versioning. We just need to combine this with the more componentized structure of publicmarkup.org so that a massive bill like this isn’t so unwieldy.

    The future process of drafting legislation could be:

    1. A first draft is proposed
    2. Congress marks it up internally using collaborative annotation like co-ment.net/publicmarkup.org
    3. Congressmembers edit the draft using something like etherpad.com or a wiki
    n. rinse and repeat 2 & 3 as necessary
    4. New revisions are added to the collaborative annotation system for public review and markup
    5. Congress reviews the public markup and repeats 3 – 5 as necessary

    and everything is done with easily parsable well structured xml. The more I think about it, maybe co-ment should just replace/enhance mediawiki’s discussion pages…