ATR President Grover Norquist today joined with 12 other free market, conservative groups urging Congress to make CRS reports available to the public.
Despite taxpayers spending $100 million per year on this research, they are not given easy access to CRS reports. Granting public access to these reports is a commonsense idea that will increase transparency, give taxpayers greater access to important information, and enrich public knowledge.
The full letter can be found here and is pasted below:
Dear Chairman Miller, Chairman Blunt, and Vice Chairman Harper,
As a coalition of 13 conservative, free market organizations we urge you to expand public access to Congressional Research Service (CRS) reports.
Each year CRS receives $100 million in taxpayer funding to produce and update thousands of nonpartisan reports describing government agencies, explaining public policy, and tallying government spending. They are an invaluable resource to Congress in its efforts to oversee our massive federal government and hold it accountable.
Members of Congress and their staff have easy access to CRS reports. So too do lobbyists and other Beltway insiders, who often pay for the reports through expensive subscription services. But taxpayers cannot easily get copies of CRS reports.
This policy is unfair and outdated. It also stands in stark contrast to other legislative branch agencies: both the Congressional Budget Office and the Government Accountability Office release their reports to the public.
Making CRS reports easily accessible by the public will increase transparency in government, and allow everyday citizens access to important information that will better educate them on the issues before Congress.
The bottom line is taxpayers pay for these reports. It is only fair that they have easy access to them.
President, American Commitment
President, Americans for Tax Reform
President, Campaign for Liberty
Chief Strategy Officer, Conservative Reform Network
President, Council for Citizens Against Government Waste
President and CEO, Freedom Works
CEO, Heritage Action for America
President, Less Government
Co-Founder, Liberty Coalition
Executive Director, National Taxpayers Union
President, Niskanen Center
Senior Fellow and Director of the Governance Project, R Street Institute
President, Taxpayers Protection Alliance