Today, Representatives Leonard Lance (R-NJ) and Mike Quigley (D-IL) reintroduced legislation that will make it easier for the public, the media, and government employees to better understand the important policy matters facing Congress. The bipartisan “Public Access to Congressional Research Service Reports Resolution of 2013,” H.Res.110, would ensure that these reports, which are often cited by courts and the media and sold by third parties for $20 per copy, are freely available to the public on a website maintained by the House Clerk.
When Representatives Lance and Quigley introduced this resolution in the 112th Congress we praised the bill, noting that “reliable access to CRS Reports would ensure that everyone has timely and comprehensive access to the collective wisdom of hundreds of analysts and experts on political issues when they’re at their most salient.” This is perhaps even more important today with controversial issues like the sequester and gun control tying our legislature in knots. A few non-profit organizations manage to make some of these reports freely available, but only the CRS can do this in a truly comprehensive manner.
The resolution opens the doors to greater public understanding of Congress and should be applauded and supported.
More than 30 organizations have signed on to a letter supporting the resolution. If you want to learn more about the importance of making CRS reports publicly available, please take the time to read the letter, which is embedded below.