Fewer than one quarter of the witnesses testifying before House committees during the current session of Congress are women, a Sunlight analysis of newly available data shows.Continue reading
Congress API revamps during recess
Congress has been at recess, but here at the Sunlight Foundation we have been working hard to improve our Congress API! There two new endpoints that make congressional and accountability documents searchable, and more information about hearings and legislators.Continue reading
Why Congress might be more productive – and less partisan – than you think
By now, most Americans think Congress is incredibly unproductive and remarkably polarized. But if we look at the hard data on our 2013 lawmakers, a slightly different story emerges.Continue reading
New members of the 113th: What they own and whom they owe
Even before he was elected last November to represent Chicago's southern exurbs in the House, Illinois Democrat Bill Foster decided to sell his stake in Electronic Theatre Controls, a company he founded with his brother. Foster jettisoned the shares -- worth at least $5 million -- "to minimize potential conflicts of interest when voting on legislation that might impact his personal finances," according to his press secretary.
Among this year's congressional freshmen, Foster stands out as a noteworthy exception.
Now that President Barack Obama's inaugural festivities are over and the 113th Congress is getting down to serious business, Sunlight ...Continue reading
House rules package has new ethics clauses, strange wrinkles
Fresh off taking the oath of office earlier today, the new members of the House of Representatives are about to vote to adopt a set of rules and orders this afternoon. There are a few ethics-related changes that are significant. There are also some unusual new wrinkles.
One welcome change for watchdog groups, including the Sunlight Foundation, is the continuation of the independent Office of Congressional Ethics, which has to be reauthorized by each Congress. The terms of four board members -- Yvonne Burke, Jay Eagen, Karan English and Allison Hayward -- expired at the end of the last Congress but ...Continue reading
NRA’s allegiances reach deep into Congress
Just over half (51 percent) of the members of the new Congress that convenes next month have received funding from the National Rifle Association’s political action committee at some point in their political careers, an analysis by the Sunlight Foundation finds. And 47 percent received money from the NRA in the most recent race in which they ran. The numbers give insight into the depth and breadth of support that the nation’s most powerful gun lobby commands. They also highlight the primary obstacle to quick action on gun control in response to last week’s massacre in Newton, Conn. – deep and long-lasting allegiances to the National Rifle Association.Continue reading
3 Transparency Milestones For Inauguration Day
With President Obama’s public inauguration in just under six weeks, and the start of the new Congress in four, what... View ArticleContinue reading
House Rules Changes: Sunlight’s Proposals for the 113th Congress
Congress runs on rules. With the upcoming changeover from the 112th to the 113th Congress, the House of Representatives will adopt new regulations that innervate every aspect of legislative life. The last time it did this, in 2010, the House set the stage for greater openness and transparency in the lower chamber. At that time, Sunlight issued a series of recommendations, some of which were adopted. The House of Representatives made significant progress toward ensuring the people's house belongs to the people, from the new transparency portal docs.house.gov to expanded video coverage of House proceedings to retaining the Office of Congressional Ethics. In advance of the 113th Congress, we're issuing an updated set of transparency recommendations, each of which would mark a significant step towards increased transparency.Continue reading