Policy

POLICY

Reports and Whitepapers

White Papers

 

One Pagers

  1. Access to Congressionally Mandated Reports Act (ACMRA)

    All legally-required agency reports to Congress should be accessible on the Government Printing Office’s website, with limited exceptions. These reports contain important information about government activities. Timely online access empowers congressional and citizen oversight. We support the Access to Congressionally Mandated Reports Act, H. R. 1380, introduced by Rep. Mike Quigley (D-IL).

  2. Public Access to Congressional Research Service Reports

    All non-confidential Congressional Research Service (CRS) reports should be published online. Just like with GAO and CBO reports, CRS reports written for a wide audience should be available to the public to help inform debate. Member-requested memos should remain confidential.
    We support H. Res. 110, introduced by Rep. Mike Quigley.

  3. Restore Funding for the Office of Technology Assessment

    Congress should restore funding for the Office of Technology Assessment (OTA).  OTA was a legislative branch agency that produced prescient, world-class reports for lawmakers on the policy implications of technology, from biotechnology to national security. Defunded in 1995 as part of general cutbacks, Congress can no longer get by without independent, non-partisan technology expertise.

  4. Public Access to Nonprofit Tax Returns

    Nonprofit tax returns contain crucial information that should easily be accessible to the public. Federal law requires the IRS to make nonprofit tax returns publically accessible, but only one-at-a-time or in bulk for a hefty fee. The IRS should publish tax forms online, in bulk, and in formats that are free to access and that computers can process.

  5. Presidential Library Donation Reform Act

    Federal law should require presidential libraries to disclose their funding. Disclosure exposes potential conflicts of interest arising from sitting presidents soliciting unlimited donations. Timely, online access empowers citizen and congressional oversight and deters misconduct. We support H. R. 1133, introduced by Rep. John Duncan (R-TN).

  6. Publish Lawmakers’ Spending Reports as Data

    Congressional spending information should be published as electronic spreadsheets. Spending reports contain vital information about lawmakers’ budgets. Greater usability of these reports enhances oversight of Congress. We support the Transparency in Government Act of 2014, H. R. 4245, introduced by Rep. Mike Quigley (D-IL).

  7. MERIT Act

  8. Congress should pass the MERIT Act (H.R. 5011), legislation introduced by Rep. Jackie Speier (D-CA) to prevent Members of Congress from using campaign funds for personal gain. Under current law, congressional candidates may use funds donated to their leadership PACs for personal purposes, such as paying for a mortgage, tuition, or travel. Candidates also may hire family members or family businesses at non-competitive rates. The MERIT Act would limit these and other abuses of power.