WASHINGTON, DC – House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH), Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-VA), Legislative Appropriations Subcommittee Chairman Ander Crenshaw (R-FL), and Oversight & Government Reform Committee Chairman Darrell Issa (R-CA) released the following statement today regarding House efforts to provide bulk access to legislative information:
“The coming vote on the Legislative Branch appropriations bill marks an important milestone for the House of Representatives: the moment lawmakers agree to free legislative information from the technical limits of years past and embrace a more open, more transparent, and more effective way of doing the people’s business. Our goal is to provide bulk access to legislative information to the American people without further delay.
“The bill directs a task force to expedite the process of making public information available to the public. In addition to legislative branch agencies such as the Library of Congress and the Government Printing Office, the task force will include representatives of House leadership and key committees, as well as the Clerk of the House and the House Chief Administrative Officer.
“This is a big project. That’s why accomplishing it rapidly and responsibly requires all those with a role in the collection and dissemination of legislative information to be at the table together. Because this effort ranks among our top priorities in the 112th Congress, we will not wait for enactment of a Legislative Branch appropriations bill but will instead direct the task force to begin its important work immediately.
“The offices involved in this project have been instrumental in using new technology to make the House more open. We pledged to make Congress more transparent and accessible, and from our efforts to provide legislation and updates in XML, to the video streaming and archiving of committee hearings, to our search for new ways to engage and serve the American people through events like last year’s ‘Hackathon’ – and more – we’re working to keep that pledge. Bulk data is the next and a very important step. We look forward to the task force’s report and to beginning implementation of this project as soon as possible.”