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Quigley Introduces Bipartisan Transparency Bill to Make Congressional Reports Easily Accessible to the Public

Dec 14, 2017
Press Release

WASHINGTON – This week, U.S. Representative Mike Quigley (IL-05), co-founder and co-chair of the Transparency Caucus, re-introduced the Access to Congressionally Mandated Reports Act (ACMRA) to improve the public and congressional staff’s access to reports mandated by Congress through the establishment of a searchable central repository. A bipartisan Senate companion bill is being led by Senators Rob Portman (R-OH) and Amy Klobuchar (D-MN).

“With an abundance of innovative, 21st century technology, it’s not too much to ask the federal government to make already published reports—paid for by taxpayers—easily accessible to the public,” said Rep. Quigley. “These reports, which span every issue area with in-depth, expert analysis, would provide valuable information to congressional staffers, students, journalists, businesses, and anyone else who wants to learn more about the policies that impact their lives. A more open and user-friendly data system will help Americans be better informed and help them hold elected officials accountable for the actions they take on constituents’ behalf.”

Each year, Congress receives thousands of reports from federal agencies but does not compile them in a central location. Currently, these reports are maintained by the Clerk of the House in a comprehensive list that runs over 320 pages, instead of in an easily searchable system.  The Access to Congressionally Mandated Reports Act would establish a central repository accessible to congressional staffs and the general public. With this library of all non-confidential agency reports in one place, staffers would be able to maximize their time and energy to better inform lawmakers and the public would have information at their disposal for research purposes and to hold elected officials and the government accountable. This bill would ensure the government’s business is done in a transparent manner.

Bipartisan co-sponsors include Reps. Rodney Davis (R-IL), Barry Loudermilk (R-GA), Dave Brat (R-VA), Jim Cooper (D-TN), Darren Soto (D-FL), and Krysten Sinema (D-AZ). The bill is also endorsed by 38 organizations across the political spectrum. A list of the organizations and a link to their letter of support can be read in full here.

As the co-founder and co-chair of the Congressional Transparency Caucus, Rep. Quigley has been committed to expanding public access to government information and enforcing accountability. This year, he introduced the COVFEFE Act to require presidential social media postings be classified at presidential records and the MAR-A-LAGO Act to require disclosure of visitor logs at the White House and other Trump properties where official government business is conducted. Last month, Rep. Quigley re-introduced the Transparency in Government Act to increase access, accountability, and transparency at every branch of the federal government with a focus on federal spending, financial disclosure requirements, and improve judicial transparency.