Personal Democracy Plus Our premium content network. LEARN MORE You are not logged in. LOG IN NOW >

House Publishes U.S. Code in XML

BY Miranda Neubauer | Tuesday, July 30 2013

The House of Representatives is now making the United States Code available for download in XML format, Speaker John Boehner's office announced today. Transparency advocates like Joshua Tauberer, creator of Govtrack, welcomed the move, but are still waiting on the publication of legislative data in bulk format. Read More

House Republicans' "Citizen Cosponsor" Lets Anyone Support Any Bill Before the House

BY Miranda Neubauer | Tuesday, June 4 2013

House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-Va.) announced today a relaunch of the Citizen Cosponsor project, which allows members of the public to express support for House legislation online. The new version includes all legislation introduced in the House by both Republicans and Democrats and exists on its own domain. Read More

It's Like Craigslist for People Who Hate Government Spending

BY Nick Judd | Thursday, March 28 2013

The National Republican Congressional Committee has launched "Waste List," a web-friendly collection of all the things Republicans think the federal government shouldn't be spending money on. A chief source for the list is "Wastebook," an annual effort by the office of Sen. Tom Coburn (R-Okla.), most recently released in in October 2012. Read More

House Republicans Release More Data Catnip for Developers

BY Nick Judd | Thursday, January 10 2013

The Government Printing Office has begun providing access to legislation from the 113th Congress in four compressed XML files — one for bills, one for resolutions, one for joint resolutions, and one for continuing resolutions.

This consolidates access to information about legislation in the House of Representatives. It is an incremental step forward for technologists who build tools that make it easier to explain to the rest of us what Congress is doing.

Read More

In House Appropriations, Little Movement to Support Online Transparency

BY Nick Judd | Wednesday, June 6 2012

In a statement released Wednesday, Republican leaders in the House of Representatives promised to immediately direct a task force to start work on making it easier to find information about congressional bills online.

Separately, the Sunlight Foundation* reports that another appropriations subcommittee voted Wednesday to defund a Federal Communications Commission program that would provide online access to information about spending on political television ads. The information is already available in hard-copy form by making an in-person request at television stations; the FCC recently passed rules requiring broadcasters in the 50 biggest television markets to make that information available for disclosure online as well.

Read More

For Transparency Advocates, the Honeymoon with House Republicans May Be Over

BY Nick Judd | Friday, June 1 2012

When John Boehner promised at the start of his turn as House Speaker to make the House of Representatives far more transparent, and to use technology to do it, advocates for an easier-to-understand Congress were cautiously optimistic. But House Republicans are poised to take a move that transparency advocates see as kicking the can down the road on the single most crucial thing the 112th Congress could do to open up the business of lawmaking. Read More

Hill Moves: House Majority Whip Gets New Digital Director

BY Nick Judd | Thursday, May 10 2012

House Oversight Committee deputy digital director Justin LoFranco has left Rep. Darrell Issa's committee staff to join House Majority Whip Kevin McCarthy as digital director, starting today.

"Through data visualization, social media, video and civic innovation, look for @GOPWhip to be building creative and innovative community conversations and content that fosters deeper social engagement and dialogue with Congress," LoFranco said in a statement.

Read More

Sunlight Says House Appropriations Committee Not Making the Grade in Online Transparency

BY Miranda Neubauer | Tuesday, April 17 2012

Despite a House of Representatives rule adopted in January 2011 requiring that video of hearings be made available online, a full quarter of House hearings are not making it online, according to a new analysis by the Sunlight Foundation.* That's thanks in large part to the House Appropriations Committee, whose hearings account for 70 percent of those not available online, per Sunlight. Read More

House GOP Hosts Legislative Data and Transparency Conference

BY Nick Judd | Thursday, February 2 2012

Today, House Republicans are hosting a conference on legislative data and transparency. The goal, as it's been explained to me, is to set the table for a conversation between House leadership and open government/open data advocates about what the House could or should do next.

More information on the conference is here. It's being live streamed.

Read More

News Briefs

RSS Feed thursday >

NYC Open Data Advocates Focus on Quality And Value Over Quantity

The New York City Department of Information Technology and Telecommunications plans to publish more than double the amount of datasets this year than it published to the portal last year, new Commissioner Anne Roest wrote last week in an annual report mandated by the city's open data law, with 135 datasets scheduled to be released this year, and almost 100 more to come in 2015. But as preparations are underway for City Council open data oversight hearings in the fall, what matters more to advocates than the absolute number of the datasets is their quality. GO

Civic Tech and Engagement: Announcing a New Series on What Makes it "Thick"

Announcing a new series of feature articles that we will be publishing over the next several months, thanks to the support of the Rita Allen Foundation. Our focus is on digitally-enabled civic engagement, and in particular, how and under what conditions "thick" digital civic engagement occurs. What we're after is answers to this question: When does a tech tool or platform enable actual people to make ongoing and significant contributions to each other, to a place or cause, at a scale that produces demonstrable change? GO

monday >

Tweets2Rue Helps Homeless to Help Themselves Through Twitter

While most solutions to homelessness focus on addressing physical needs -- a roof over the head and food to eat -- one initiative in France known as Tweets2Rue knows that for the homeless, a house is still not a home, so to speak: the homeless are often entrenched in a viscous cycle of social isolation that keeps them invisible and powerless. GO

More