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Tag Archive: Thomas

The Nice Polite Campaign to Gently Encourage Parliament to Publish Bills in a 21st Century Way, Please. Now.


It's quite surprising, but the UK's House of Commons does not put the text of its bills on the Web in a user-friendly manner, making it bloody difficult -- as they would say -- for British citizens to know what's really going on in Parliament when it comes to legislating.

Earlier today, our friends at, the U.K.-based nonprofit that builds Web sites to open up government and its services to benefit citizens, launched a campaign to convince Parliament to embrace the Internet Age.

The goal of the Free Our Bills campaign is to have Parliament put the text of bills online. The effort is titled "The Nice Polite Campaign to Gently Encourage Parliament to Publish Bills in a 21 Century Way, Please. Now." (We'll give it an award for simply being the best named campaign ever.) How polite and British. (American style would be something like "Just Do It.")

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Finding Bills Online


It would be nice to know why the Government Printing Office takes so long to take a bill and put it online so that I can access it on Thomas. Yesterday, I tried to read the lobbying and ethics reform bill currently being debated on the Senate floor, bill number S. 1, and found that it was not online at Thomas because it takes a day or two for the GPO to print a bill. Of course, S. 1 was introduced last week but the GPO says that it might take longer when a lot of bills are introduced at once (members of the House introduced over 300 bills last week, Senators introduced over 100). Is there some actual explanation for this delay other than aimless bureaucracy and backwards computer technology. If I had just drafted a bill I could post the entire thing on this blog right now, but for some reason Members of Congress cannot post bills immediately online?

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