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.

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