Sunlight on Congressional Research and Reports

June 18, 2014, 4:32 p.m.

Congress often requires agencies to report on their activities and asks for research to be done to inform their work. These taxpayer funded reports provide valuable insight but are not made available to the public or the press in a consistent manner or centralized location, hindering both congressional and public oversight.

The Congressional Research Service (CRS) is a nonpartisan service that provides Congress with exclusive reports on a wide range of issues. It is often called the ‘think tank’ of Congress. The budget is approximately $100 million of taxpayer money yet the CRS has actively resisted releasing these reports to the public. Americans have to implore their member of Congress or hope that the report they are interested in has snuck its way online in order to access the non-partisan, expert research that their tax dollars pay for.