Sunlight suggests GOP Improve transparency with Internet

The rules of the House and Senate have extraordinary influence. The Constitution, in granting each chamber the ability to "determine the rules of its proceedings," has allowed Congress to create the evolving set of processes, norms and standards by which it functions. The rules define legislative order, construct a leadership power structure, lay out the committee system and establish rules for conduct and disclosure. The Rules of the House are routinely changed every two years at the beginning of each new Congress. While recent reforms have created more disclosure than ever before, congressional transparency reforms must be considered an imperative for congressional leadership. And the robust use of technology can make disclosure into a better ethics enforcer, a more effective educator and a strong arbiter of public policy. The House must redouble its commitment to transparency, and deepen the relationship between constituents and representatives.

The 112th Congress can be the most open and accountable Congress ever, and online transparency can help Congress reach that goal. Sunlight has pored through the Rules of the House and identified a series of reforms. While this list applies specifically to the House, they can apply largely to the Senate as well.

Sunlight suggests that Congress:

Post Ethics Documents Online, Create an Earmarks Database, Require 72 Hours Online for Bills, Open Congressional Committees, Broaden Access to Congressional Video, Open Legislative Data, Release Congressional Research Service Reports, Modernize Franking, Publish Dear Colleagues Letters, Put House Documents Online, Publish Statutes at Large, Archive Member and Committee Sites, and Strengthen Ethics Committee and Office of Congressional Ethics.


Sunlight suggests GOP Improve transparency with Internet