ATR President Grover Norquist today sent a letter to members of Congress urging support for H.Res.34, legislation introduced by Congressman Leonard Lance (R-N.J). This bill would create a publicly accessible database for Congressional Research Service (CRS) reports.
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 is pasted below or can be found here.
Dear Member of Congress:
I write to endorse Congressman Leonard Lance’s H.Res.34, a bill to allow public access to reports compiled by the Congressional Research Service (CRS).
Rep. Lance’s bipartisan bill creates a publicly accessible electronic database for CRS reports, similar to what is already available to those working in Congress. This is a common sense proposal that will increase transparency, give taxpayers greater access to important information, and enrich public knowledge.
Each year, experts at CRS complete 1,000 new reports and update 2,500 more. This service is invaluable to the thousands of Congressional staffers who have easy access to this resource.
For taxpayers, it is a different story. Despite providing $100 million in financing for CRS research each year, the public does not have easy access to these reports.
CRS is an outlier when it comes to public access – other agencies like the Government Accountability Office (GAO) and the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) already make their research freely available to the public.
Making these reports available is common sense. Copies of CRS reports are already widely found on the web and frequently sent to curious constituents, so there is no rationale to denying taxpayers easy access.
I urge you to work to lift this outdated, unnecessary rule and allow CRS reports into the public domain by co-sponsoring and supporting this legislation.
To co-sponsor H.Res.34, please contact Michael Taggart at 202-225-5361 or at [email protected]
Grover G. Norquist
President, Americans for Tax Reform