Is Congress Serious About Transparency? Looking at Progress in the 112th Congress.


The Advisory Committee on Transparency will host an event on legislative transparency on Monday, October 1 at 2:00 pm in the Rayburn House Office Building, room 2203.

Over the past two years, Congress has embraced and avoided efforts to make its proceedings more open and understandable to the public. It recently unveiled a new legislative information website that will ultimately replace THOMAS, but held secret “supercommittee” meetings on reducing the budget deficit. The House of Representatives now requires legislation to be online for 3 legislative days, but earmarks have been pushed underground in both chambers. All the while, a growing community of parliamentary monitoring organizations have begun identifying standards against which legislative transparency can be measured.

We are pleased to host this panel discussion on the evolving norms and behaviors of the Congress towards transparency. The panel of experts includes Hugh Halpern, Staff Director of the House Committee on Rules; Jim Harper, Director of Information Policy Studies at the Cato Institute and Founder of; and John Wonderlich, Policy Director at the Sunlight Foundation. They will explain the steps each house has taken towards openness, some of the impediments that could deter future progress, and prospects for further advances in the 113th Congress.

We hope you can join us. Please RSVP to