Reps. Quigley, Issa, and 17 Others Form ‘Congressional Transparency Caucus’

by

Representatives Mike Quigley and Darrell Issa announced the creation of the bipartisan “Congressional Transparency Caucus” today. This historic move provides an exciting new way for Members of Congress to work together in support of open government initiatives.

In addition to supporting the across-the-aisle collaboration, the Caucus will allow representatives to deepen their expertise on transparency matters and engage the American public through education, legislation, and oversight. The Sunlight Foundation has long been hoping for this kind of forum to emerge, and applauds Rep. Quigley, Issa, and the 18 (formerly 17) other charter members of this caucus for taking this important step.

In a similar vein, the Sunlight Foundation is pleased to announce that we are creating the Advisory Committee on Transparency. The Advisory Committee shares the underlying goals of the Congressional Transparency Caucus and will work to educate Congress and the public about transparency-related issues.

We hope to involve public interest organizations, businesses, and private citizens in the important work of improving government transparency. It is important to note that the Advisory Committee, unlike the Congressional Transparency Caucus, is not part of government.

To learn more about the principles underlying the Congressional Transparency Caucus, click here (PDF).

To read the “Dear Colleague” letter introducing the Congressional Transparency Caucus, click here (PDF).

The members of the Congressional Transparency Caucus (as of March 25, 2010) are: Melissa Bean (D-IL), Jason Chaffetz (R-UT), Lloyd Doggett (D-TX), Vern Ehlers (R-MI), Bill Foster (D-IL), Steve Israel (D-NY), Darrel Issa (R-CA), Walter B. Jones (R-NC), Jim Jordan (R-OH), Mark Kirk (R-IL), Doug Lamborn (R-CO), Blaine Luetkemeyer (R-MO), Patrick McHenry (R-NC), Walt Minnick (D-ID), Jared Polis (D-CO), Mike Quigley (D-IL), Tim Ryan (D-OH), Aaron Schock (R-IL), Mark Souder (R-IN), and Jackie Speier (D-CA).

For more information about the Advisory Committee on Transparency, please contact Daniel Schuman.

Categorized in:
Share This:
  • Daniel Schuman

    Cate,

    I’m sorry that your post disappeared. I don’t know why, but judging by the double-posting on this entry, perhaps we’re having some minor technical problems. I’d be interested in hearing what’s going on in Australia.

  • We have transparency now problem is no one looks or knows what they are looking for. Healthcare was transparent but nobody wanted to read the 2000+ pages and check CBO’s. The dems were smart posted only a 153 page summary of what they wanted. And so it goes From George Washington to Barack Obama.

  • Hey Daniel and all…

    It’s such great news… I hope the Congressmen are able to find common ground and momentum.

    Unfortunately the previous comment that I left disappeared… I posted about the a transparency process that the Australian Parliament has which requires the executive branch to publish an index of all new and updated files on a bi-annual basis…

    More on governmental transparency at Riski:

    http://freerisk.org/wiki/index.php/Transparency

  • Daniel is correct. One of the greatest bipartisan compromises of the 20th century between the left and the right was entirely about transparency. The left called for substantive regulation of public companies after the 29 crash; the right called for hands off. FDR’s compromise was transparency for public companies in the form of U.S. GAAP disclosure — significant interference in free markets, but of a type that supported the world’s strongest capital market between WWII and Enron. And Enron only happened because of a failure to enforce adequate transparency. The same potential for compromise exists today by applying similarly useful transparency requirements to asset-backed securities. Moreover, using compatible standards for government and private transparency (the case for XBRL as that standard is made in many posts on my blog) means more analysis power to leverage when analyzing the conduct of both. (If XBRL is good enough for every public company in America, it should be good enough for government.) Bravo to Sunlight for this work!

  • Daniel-

    I hope what you say is true. I’m still reeling from what I witnessed in the health care reform debate.

    – Dennis

  • Daniel is correct. One of the greatest bipartisan compromises of the 20th century was between the left and the right and it was entirely about transparency. The left called for substantive regulation of public companies after the 29 crash; the right called for hands off. FDR’s compromise was transparency for public companies in the form of U.S. GAAP disclosure — significant interference in free markets, but of a type that supported the world’s strongest capital market between WWII and Enron. And Enron only happened because of a failure to enforce adequate transparency. The same potential for compromise exists today by applying similarly useful transparency requirements to asset-backed securities, as described in my recent Fortune.com piece linked from my blog at http://paulwilkinson.com Moreover, using compatible standards for government and private transparency (the case for XBRL as that standard is made in many posts on my blog) means more analysis power to leverage when analyzing the conduct of both. (If XBRL is good enough for every public company in America, it should be good enough for government.) Bravo to Sunlight for this work!

  • Transparency is one of those areas where people from across the ideological spectrum can agree. I think having a forum where people can work together, share ideas, and become educated is a plus.

  • Call me cynical, but is the fact that this is billed as “bipartisan” going to doom any hope of progress?