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CRS Reports to the People! Part II

My earlier post, CRS Reports to the People!, dealt with which congressmen to contact and which congressmen sponsored what bills in the past, etc. But now I would like to offer some sample letters that you can emulate and send. I sent all of mine just after the inauguration of President Obama and will let you know what kinds of responses I get.

Here is a sample letter to send to those who have sponsored similar bills about publicly releasing all CRS Reports in the past (be sure to refer to my previous post that lists all these bills and their sponsors in your letter!):

The Honorable [full name]
[Room #] [Name] Senate [or] House Office Building
United States House of Representatives [or] United States Senate
Washington, DC 20515

Dear Senator:
or
Dear Representative:

Due to your [introduction/co-sponsorship] of BILL [X], I am writing to seek your support yet again in addressing the need for making Congressional Research Service Reports available to the public in a way that they can be easily obtained. American taxpayers spend nearly $100 million a year to fund the Congressional Research Service, yet it remains cumbersome to acquire these informative reports. Several libraries and non-profit organizations have sought to collect as many of the released reports as possible. Unfortunately, there is no feasible way to obtain all CRS reports, therefore, I believe that it would be best if Congress made all CRS Reports available to the public online.

President Obama has demonstrated and fosters the spirit of open access and transparency during his administration, as a Government Documents Librarian and contributor for the Free Government Information website [list your credentials, affiliations, etc. or simply say “as a tax paying citizen], I strongly believe that there is no greater time than now to address the need for the availability of these educational and beneficial reports to the public.

Thank you for your attention. I look forward to your reply.

Sincerely,

[Your Name]
[Your official title/degree credentials]
[Contact Address and Email]

If the Congressmen you are writing to have not sponsored a bill related to the public release of all CRS Reports, then use this nearly identical form letter:

The Honorable [full name]
[Room #] [Name] Senate [or] House Office Building
United States House of Representatives [or] United States Senate
Washington, DC 20515

Dear Senator:
or
Dear Representative:

I am writing to seek your support in addressing the need for making Congressional Research Service Reports available to the public in a way that they can be easily obtained. Previous bills addressing this topic have been introduced by Congressmen, but were unsuccessful. Most recently, these included H.R. 2545 (2007) and S. Res. 401 (2007).

American taxpayers spend nearly $100 million a year to fund the Congressional Research Service, yet it remains cumbersome to acquire these informative reports. Several libraries and non-profit organizations have sought to collect as many of the released reports as possible. Unfortunately, there is no feasible way to obtain all CRS reports, therefore, I believe that it would be best if Congress made all CRS Reports available to the public.

President Obama has demonstrated and fosters the spirit of open access and transparency during his administration, as a Government Documents Librarian and contributor for the Free Government Information website [list your credentials, affiliations, etc. or simply say “as a tax paying citizen], I strongly believe that there is no greater time than now to address the need for the availability of these educational and beneficial reports to the public.

Thank you for your attention. I look forward to your reply.

Sincerely,

[Your Name]
[Your official title/degree credentials]
[Contact Address and Email]

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