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House Dems to Pull Public Opinion Data, Position Papers From Third-Party Site

BY Nick Judd | Thursday, July 19 2012

In the 112th Congress, House Republicans have made much ado about efforts to gin up citizen input, like House Majority Leader Eric Cantor's YouCut initiative or House Oversight Committee Chairman Darrell Issa's Madison platform for soliciting comment on individual bills.

Now House Democrats are getting in on the act. House Minority Whip Steny Hoyer announced today that House Dems will integrate citizen input and organizational position papers submitted on POPVOX, a website for tracking bills and contacting Congress about them, into a document repository shared by every Democratic member.

"I believe that it is important for Congress to adopt new technologies that advance our constitutional mission of communicating with our constituents. Websites like Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube have significantly transformed how Americans share information, and most Members of Congress have adopted these technologies resulting in improved constituent communications," Hoyer said in a statement.

Democrats in the House have an intranet used to share documents inside their caucus, Hoyer's office explained in an announcement. Starting today, that intranet will host all the position papers that POPVOX receives and will display the data POPVOX has on public sentiment about each bill:

Issa has experimented with a POPVOX contact-your-congressman tool.

House Dems seem to be making a series of changes to their approach to working online. House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi's new digital director, Faiz Shakir, has said that Democrats will be making a concerted effort to beef up their presence on the Internet.

This post has been corrected. House Oversight experimented with the POPVOX tool but never publicly released it.