40 Orgs & 25 CRS Alums Call on Congress to Release Congressional Research Service Reports

40 ORGS & 25 CONGRESSIONAL RESEARCH SERVICE ALUMS
CALL ON CONGRESS TO RELEASE CRS REPORTS

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

CONTACT: Daniel Schuman, Policy Director, 202-792-4550

Today Demand Progress and a bipartisan coalition of more than 40 organizations and 25 former CRS staff called on Congress to comprehensively publish Congressional Research Service (CRS) Reports online.

CRS reports are written by Congress’s think tank and explain important policy matters in a comprehensive, even-handed way. While they are made available to the 20,000 staff on Capitol Hill, and are readily available to lobbyists and other insiders, public access often is limited by a paywall.

Many, but not all, reports are available freely online, and there’s no way to know whether you’re looking at the most recent version.

The first letter, sent by more than 40 organizations from across the politics spectrum, calls for public access to CRS reports and addresses frequent questions about online publication.

The second letter, from 25 former CRS employees with more than 570 years of combined experience, explains the importance of public access and expresses strong support for the availability of CRS reports.

Last Congress, bipartisan bicameral legislation was introduced by Sens. McCain and Leahy and Reps. Lance and Quigley to make the reports available to the public. Public access is expected to come up at Wednesday’s Legislative Branch Appropriations Subcommittee hearing, scheduled for 10 a.m. in HT-2 (in the Capitol).

Both letters were coordinated by Demand Progress and the R Street Institute as part of our longstanding efforts to make the reports equally available to all. Demand Progress’s Daniel Schuman is a former CRS employee, as is R Street’s Kevin Kosar.

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