Today, open government advocates launched EveryCRSReport.com, a new website to provide Congressional Research Service (CRS) reports to the public. The website is a project of Demand Progress, in partnership with the bipartisan Congressional Data Coalition, and includes more than 8,200 CRS reports.
The website will continue to be updated as new reports are released, and users will be able to use RSS feeds to find out when new reports are posted. The reports are posted in their entirety, except for redactions of author names and contact information out of concern for privacy.
CRS provides non-partisan, in-depth analysis of important issues to Congress, and previously the reports could only be accessed when individual Congressional offices decided to post them online. The reports are an invaluable resource to the public, as they provide important insight into the information Congress is using to make policy decisions. Although there have been legislative attempts made to make all CRS reports open to the public, including the recent Equal Access to Congressional Research Service Reports Act of 2016, so far none have been successful.
Former CRS employees have endorsed the call to systematically make CRS reports public, as has a broad bipartisan coalition of openness groups, think tanks, grassroots organizations, libraries, and others, including OpenTheGovernment.org.
“For more than 20 years, the public has clamored for Congress to systematically release CRS reports to the public,” says Demand Progress’ Daniel Schuman. “Instead, those with DC connections have received preferential access, leaving lone members of Congress to fill the gaps and address iniquities. Congress must do better, and this new website points the way forward.”
Check out the website here.