Sending Office: Honorable Mike Quigley
Sent By:
Brooke.Stuedell@mail.house.gov

 

Request for Cosponsor(s)

Endorsed by Demand Progress, Sunlight Foundation, OpenGov Foundation, Open the Government, and American Library Association

Dear Colleague,

No one disagrees that the best form of government is an open and honest one, but a government that does not do all it can to promote transparency cannot be called truly open. Transparency provides our citizens information about what their government is doing,
promotes accountability and ensures the public trusts their government.

As news of scandals and ethics violations continue to mount, public trust in the federal government and our elected officials has reached historic lows, causing many Americans to simply give up on Washington and the mission of government. The best remedy
to rebuild the public’s trust is improved transparency and the promotion of openness. Openness will strengthen our democracy and promote an efficient and effective government. We have the ability to do so much more to earn the public’s trust, making relatively
simple modifications to our current policies.

The Transparency in Government Act (TGA) would bring unprecedented access and accountability to all branches of the federal government. The bill would improve transparency throughout the federal government with a focus on utilizing new technologies, increasing
disclosures from both lobbyists and lawmakers, strengthening oversight of federal spending and improving judicial transparency.

It is important citizens having access to the inner workings of their government. This access, however, needs to be available in a practical format. It is not enough to simply make documents and raw data available. The TGA strikes at this issue by making
the already publically available data searchable, sortable, machine readable and downloadable. With the amount of global information we can access instantly on a smartphone, the federal government should have no trouble making its work available online to
the public.

Link to the bill text
here
and the section-by-section
here
.

Highlights of the bill include:

  • Improving public access to information about Members of Congress personal financial information and their disbursement reports.
  • Requiring all committees and subcommittees to post public hearings and markup schedules online as soon as information is available to the committee.
  • Instructing the Clerk of the House to publish each Member’s recorded votes in a structured data format to be easily searchable by each Member.
  • Creating the first ever online database for grantees and contractors to ensure only non-federal funds are used to influence federal awards.
  • Requiring the Supreme Court to record permit television coverage of all open sessions of the Supreme Court.
  • Requiring all federal judicial financial disclosure forms to be available online in a structured format.
  • Establishing new definitions for lobbyists and stricter rules governing how and with whom they meet.
  • Instructing all FOIA requests of federal agencies be published online promptly after they are completed.
  • Requiring all agencies to require private sector entities from which it regularly collects reports, filings, forms, disclosures, etc. to obtain a unique entity identifier number in order to report to the government.
  • Requiring both houses of Congress embrace a consistent data format for legislative information including bills, resolutions, orders, and votes.

Please support improving transparency in our government by cosponsoring TGA today! Please contact Brooke Stuedell at
brooke.stuedell@mail.house.gov or 5-4061 for additional information or to cosponsor.

Sincerely,

 

Congressman Mike Quigley

Related Legislative Issues
Selected legislative information: Ethics and Standards, Government, Judiciary, Rules/Legislative Branch
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