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CRS Reports to the People!

Now that a new administration will be coming into office soon, it is more important than ever to encourage our Government to make Congressional Research Service (CRS) Reports publicly accessible online. Here at FGI, the topic of CRS Reports has been written about often, but I was inspired to create this blog post and take action after seeing Starr Hoffman’s DLC conference presentation last week (click on “Search Document” and enter “Starr Hoffman”. Her PowerPoint, “Encouraging An Informed Citizenry” will come up as a PDF to download).

Starr is responsible for maintaining University of North Texas’s Congressional Research Service (CRS) Reports Archive. In her presentation, she gives tips for writing to Congressmen and lists some past legislative efforts (Bills that never passed both houses of Congress) to make CRS Reports publicly accessible. I have gathered some other Bills, as well as all the contact information for the sponsoring Congressmen and have included them in my Delicious.com “CRS” tag as well as in this list:

1998 H.R. 3131, S. 1578
1999 H.R. 654, S. 393
2000 H.R. 4582
2001 S. Res. 21
2003 H.R. 3630, S. Res. 54
2007 H.R. 2545, S. Res. 401

Senator John McCain
Introduced S. 1578, S. 393, S.Res. 21, S. Res. 54, & co-sponsored S. Res. 401
Senator Mike Enzi
Co-sponsored S. 393
Senator Leahy
Co-sponsored S. 393, S. Res. 21, S. Res. 54, and S. Res. 401.
Senator Tom Coburn
H.R. 4582 co-sponsor when he was in the House.
Senator Jim DeMint
Introduced H.R. 4582 when he was in the House.
Senator Joe Lieberman
Introduced S. Res. 401 and co-sponsored S. Res. 21 and S. Res. 54
Senator Tom Harkin
Co-sponsored S. Res. 54 and S. Res. 401
Senator Susan M. Collins
Co-sponsored S. Res. 401
Senator John Cornyn
Co-sponsored S. Res. 401

Congressman David Price
Co-sponsor for H.R. 3131, H.R. 654, H.R. 3630, and H.R. 2545
Congressman John Campbell
Co-sponsored H.R. 654
Congressman Jay Inslee
Co-sponsored H.R. 3630 and H.R. 2545

And you can find and contact your local Senator and your Representatives too.

James A. Jacobs did a Google search this past June for “Received through the CRS Web” OR “CRS Report for Congress” combined with site:house.gov and then again for site:senate.gov and got around 600 hits with each. For example, here are some domains he found that you can search within for CRS Reports or to search for those in Congress who may support public access to CRS Reports: bartlett.house.gov, holt.house.gov, radanovich.house.gov, weldon.house.gov, bennelson.senate.gov, carper.senate.gov, lugar.senate.gov, murray.senate.gov, etc.

For more information on CRS Report legislation efforts, visit this site which contains a “Campaign for Online Access” section.

Spread the word about this post and good luck in writing to your Congressmen! If you have other ideas, please share them in the comments.

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