Quigley, Issa Host Bipartisan Briefing on Transparency & Government Accountability in the 115th Congress
WASHINGTON – Today, U.S. Representative Mike Quigley (IL-05), Co-Chair of the Congressional Transparency Caucus, along with Rep. Darrell Issa (CA-49), hosted a bipartisan Transparency Caucus briefing to discuss the progress this Congress has made to address transparency issues, and outline the challenges still faced as policymakers work to bring greater transparency to the federal government in the 115th Congress.
“Congress has made great strides over the last two years to remedy this nation’s deficit of trust, but a huge hole remains. It is time for Congress to usher in a new era of government transparency and accountability and prove to our constituents that we are worthy of the responsibility they have entrusted in us,” said Rep. Quigley. “I appreciate Rep. Issa and the panelists from today’s briefing for shining a light on the progress Congress has made in addressing transparency issues within the federal government and continuing to work extremely hard to foster greater transparency in the next Congress.”
“The problem with corruption, fraud and abuse in government is that it’s often hidden by the system,” said Rep. Issa. “So making government honest starts with making government as open and transparent as possible. From passing the first major reforms to the Freedom of Information Act in more than 50 years, to passing the DATA Act so government spending can be made easily searchable online, we’ve made great progress in the last few years to help shine a light on government. Of course there’s still more that needs to be done, but these important milestones have been tremendous successes that are making a real difference to advance transparency and accountability. I thank everyone for coming to today’s event and look forward to continuing working hard to bring even greater transparency to our government.”
The 114th Congress has made significant advances in government transparency. From implementing the DATA Act and FOIA reform, to enhancing whistleblower protections and providing access to government records, much has been accomplished in the past two years. However, much still remains to be accomplished in the 115th Congress. During the discussion, members and panelists highlighted certain priorities such as passing the Equal Access to Congressional Research Reports Act, providing public access to non-confidential CRS reports, and live-streaming audio recordings of the U.S. Supreme Court, to name a few.
Reps. Quigley and Issa gave opening remarks, followed by a panelist discussion. Panelists included: Daniel Schuman, Policy Director at Demand Progress; Christian Hoehner, Director of Policy at the Data Coalition; Shanna Devine, Legislative Director for Government Accountability Project; and Patrice McDermott, Executive Director of OpenTheGovernment.org.
“The Congressional Transparency Caucus, under the leadership of Reps. Quigley and Issa, has successfully encouraged the government to be more open and transparent, but even with their efforts, more needs to be done,” said Daniel Schuman, Policy Director at Demand Progress. “I am happy to be a part of today’s important discussion to further encourage transparency measures across the federal government as we move into the 115th Congress.”
Rep. Quigley (at podium) and Rep. Issa (left) give introductory remarks at the bipartisan Congressional Transparency Caucus briefing.
The bipartisan Transparency Caucus serves as a resource for Members of Congress on bipartisan, open government initiatives. The caucus promotes legislation that requires federal information to be freely accessible, as well as advocates for new programs that support transparency.
Rep. Quigley has made government reform, transparency and fiscal responsibility the cornerstones of hs legislative agenda throughout his time in Congress. He is a co-founder and co-chair of the bipartisan Congressional Transparency Caucus and has reached across the aisle to introduce bipartisan bills that would provide public access to taxpayer-funded reports written by the Congressional Research Service and federal agencies.