Building Steam for “SuperCongress” Transparency

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Since our Tuesday morning blog post, a growing chorus is demanding that Congress’s new Joint Select Committee on Debt Reduction (nicknamed the SuperCommittee or SuperCongress) perform its work with transparency and accountability.

For Sunlight’s part, we sent a letter to congressional leadership, calling for 5 specific things from the joint committee. We’ve also launched the OpenSuperCongress campaign, which everyone should sign on to, and we’re encouraging other organizations to join. We’ve published a handy timeline of dates for the joint committee’s work, and, in addition to discussing this topic on C-SPAN’s Washington Journal, additional media coverage includes the Washington Post, The Huffington Post and others.

Project on Government Oversight wrote an insightful blog post calling for additional specific transparency measures, all of which are great ideas, and a broad coalition of groups have launched a complementary effort behind Public Campaign to push Debt Committee members not to fundraise, and to provide full transparency for their activities.

Capitol Hill has started to respond, too. Senator Vitter was first, introducing a bill to require all contributions over $1,000 to be disclosed in close to real-time for all joint committee members. Six Republican Senators sent a letter to leadership as well, demanding open committee proceedings. Senator Heller also introduced a bill that would require the committee to hold its meetings publicly, instead of behind closed doors. For links to resources for ongoing developments, check out the wiki page we’re using to track bills and coverage, on TransparencyHub.

Hopefully we’ll have more to report soon. It’s truly amazing that we still don’t even know whether the “SuperCongress” will even hold public meetings. Check back for more updates, and please consider adding your support to our OpenSuperCongress campaign.

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