From Congress Daily, 12/13/07, Senators Launch New Effort To Put CRS Reports Online
A bipartisan group of Senate heavyweights has introduced a resolution to require the Congressional Research Service provide online public access to all its reports, in what could be the strongest in a series of attempts to force CRS to make its work widely available.Introduced Tuesday by Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Chairman Lieberman and ranking member Susan Collins, R-Maine; Judiciary Chairman Leahy; Agriculture Chairman Harkin; Senate Armed Services ranking member John McCain, R-Ariz.; and Sen. John Cornyn, R-Texas, the resolution mandates that the Senate Sergeant-at-Arms work with the director of CRS to put the service's reports online.CRS has long resisted making its reports available to the public despite criticism from advocates of government transparency who say the reports are paid for by taxpayers and would illuminate issues facing Congress. They are released only to members and their aides. Similar legislative efforts have failed. This one could succeed because the Senate can mandate the change without consulting the House and because of the seniority of
the sponsors, said Steven Aftergood, director of the Federation of American Scientists' Project on Government Secrecy."This is a tough nut to crack . . . but if these senators cannot make this happen, then
it's not going to happen," he said.