Congress and the Executive Branch should focus on making the work of lobbyists and other paid influencers more transparent.
Money in Politics Disclosure
To uncover the levers of access and influence in Congress and the White House, real time online disclosure of money in politics must become the standard.
- Enact Legislation to Disclose Dark Money in Elections
- Appoint FEC Commissioners Committed to Transparency
- The IRS Should Tighten and Enforce Rules Regarding Electioneering Activities of Nonprofits
- The SEC Should Require Companies to Disclose Political Spending
- Improve the FCC's Political File Database
- Mandate Disclosure of Tax Returns and Bundlers by Presidential Candidates
- Enact Legislation to Disclose Corporate Political Spending to Shareholders
- Require Senators to Electronically File Campaign Finance Disclosure Reports
There is a wealth of government data that must be made accessible to the public.
- Create an Index of Federal Agencies' Major Datasets
- Enact the Public Online Information Act
- Enact the Access to Congressionally Mandated Reports Act
- Make Congressional Research Service Reports Publicly Available
- Implement the Digital Accountability and Transparency Act
- Adopt FOIA Reforms
- Review the Personal Financial Disclosure System
- Report Earmark Requests from Congress Online
Make Congressional Research Service Reports Publicly Available
Congressional Research Service (CRS) issue briefs, reports and authorization and appropriations products should be made publicly available online.
Taxpayer-funded CRS reports provide well-respected, objective, reliable research and analysis on national policy issues. They are written for use by Members of Congress and staff, and usually are not directly released to the public by CRS itself.
Lobbyists and others have access to the reports through services that offer the reports for a fee. Open government advocates have attempted to make CRS reports available at no cost, and some reports are available via members of congress or federal agency websites, but there is no single comprehensive compilation. Public access to updated reports is only available to those with the financial resources to pay for them, even while they are routinely cited in the media, by the courts, and by elected officials.
Legislation to make non-confidential CRS products available online on a centralized, publicly searchable database would ensure equal access to CRS reports by any interested member of the public and thereby make it easier for the public to understand the important issues confronting congress.