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As part of the OpenHouse Project, there is a new Op-Ed in The Hill. Harris and Stoller make the point that the excuses being used to keep CRS reports from being made freely available to the public are just not valid. This includes the complaint “that making CRS reports available to the public could change the way they use the service. What undercuts this argument is that CRS reports are already widely available through commercial channels.”
- Inexplicable anomaly, By Leslie Harris and Matt Stoller, The Hill, May 15, 2007.
Frankly, it’s difficult to believe that Congress thinks it can control whether CRS reports are made available to the public over the Internet. A decade ago, CRS was among a dwindling handful of government entities that had yet to embrace the democratizing power of the Web. Now, in 2007, CRS’s practices are an inexplicable anomaly that grows more glaring with each passing year.
…Companies like Penny Hill Press and LexisNexis manage to obtain the reports and provide copies for a fee. As a result, well-heeled lobbyists can search CRS reports readily, while ordinary Americans cannot.
To fix this inequity, all Congress has to do is update an archaic policy that never made much sense, and now seems even sillier.