Congressional Research Becomes Far Less Mysterious with Search

October 10, 2018

A strange thing is happening in Washington, the government is making itself more transparent and searchable. At least when it comes to congressional research. The Congressional Research Service has long been among the most secretive agencies in Washington, only releasing a report or two when it absolutely must. That has changed, according to a recent Federal News Radio story, “A Window Opens Into the Secretive Congressional Research Service.”

According to the story:

“CRS didn’t volunteer this initiative. Until now Its “board of directors” would only release reports individually, maybe, upon request from a constituent. But thanks to a provision in a 2018 appropriations bill, it now has to make them all public. Which means not every member of Congress liked the way things were. The provision was the work of Rep. Mike Quigley (D-Ill.). He’s been trotting out legislation about CRS for the past seven years.”

You can take a look for yourself. Currently, the service only provides documents dating back to January of 2018, but more is supposed to be on the way. The only limitation is a redaction of the author’s information.

One question is, “Why aren’t government documents, not marked classified, available to the public?”

USA.gov does not provide a comprehensive index of public US government information. Interesting.

Patrick Roland, October 10, 2018

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