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
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
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
BY Miranda Neubauer | Tuesday, January 8 2013
House floor summaries are now available for bulk download in XML format, the office of Speaker of the House John Boehner (R-OH) announced today. Read More
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
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
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
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
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
BY Nick Judd | Wednesday, February 1 2012
House Republicans have been pushing the results of their transparency initiatives, such as a pilot project to archive video of some committee hearings.
But other committee hearings are apparently off-limits. Politico reports today that documentary filmmaker Josh Fox was arrested while attempting to videotape a House Science Committee hearing on hydrofracking. Only credentialed members of the Congressional press corps can film hearings of that committee.
The archived webcast of that hearing, which was streamed live, is here, if you can get the software to work. Each committee chair has discretion over what to do with video of their hearings, although there's also an office of in-House broadcasters who keep archival footage of everything, staffers have told me previously. As a result, there's no universal standard for how hearings are streamed or archived. The Science Committee uses a content delivery platform powered by Akamai.Read More