Quigley Reintroduces Legislation Calling for Public CRS Reports
WASHINGTON – This month, U.S. Representative Mike Quigley (IL-05), Co-Founder and Co-Chair of the Congressional Transparency Caucus, joined Rep. Leonard Lance (R-NJ) in re-introducing bipartisan legislation to open Congressional Research Service (CRS) reports to the public. Every year, thousands of non-confidential reports are compiled by CRS for use by Congressional offices.
“As public trust in government continues to plummet, we must do all that we can to increase access to the information we use to make critical policy decisions,” said Rep. Quigley. “Providing the American people with the same informative, unbiased, nonpartisan reports that we in Congress rely on to do our job is a worthy use of tax dollars and will strengthen the relationship between constituents and those who represent them. These reports can serve as a vital tool in our efforts to promote government openness and accountability.”
The Equal Access to Congressional Research Service Reports Act directs the Congressional Research Service to publish its reports on govinfo.gov – a site managed by the Government Printing Office (GPO) that will serve as a one-stop shop for public information.
CRS is Congress’ think tank, and its reports are relied upon by academics, businesses, judges, policy advocates, students, librarians, journalists, and policymakers for accurate and timely analysis of important policy issues. Unfortunately, information compiled by the CRS is not publically available. Since 1914, reports have only been available for request through House and Senate offices and bipartisan lawmakers agree it is time to bring CRS into the 21st century. Not only is requesting CRS reports through House and Senate offices time-consuming, the public often finds the easiest way to get reports is by paying for access through third-party subscription services.
The bipartisan Transparency Caucus, which Rep. Quigley co-founded in 2010, 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.