Nearly 650 organizations and individuals sent a letter today to Rep. Bill Thomas (R-CA), Chairman of the House Oversight Committee, and Senator John Warner (R-VA), Chairman of the Senate Rules Committee, asking them to put Congressional Research Service (CRS) Reports and materials on the Internet.
"The Congressional Research Service produces some of the best research in the federal government," the letter reads. "We believe that taxpayers ought to be able to read the research that we pay for. We urge you to place these valuable CRS products -- including CRS Reports, Info Packs, Issue Briefs, and Audio Briefs -- on the Internet."
The letter was endorsed by the Congressional Accountability Project, Consumer Project on Technology, American Conservative Union, National Association of Manufacturers, Common Cause, National Taxpayers Union, Society of Professional Journalists, Electronic Frontier Foundation, Center for Science in the Public Interest, Center for Responsive Politics, and many others.
The Congressional Research Service is a taxpayer-funded organization with an annual budget of nearly $63 million. During fiscal year 1996, CRS prepared more than 1,000 new written research products for the Congress. But Congress distributes few CRS products via the Internet.
Copies of the letter are available from the Congressional Accountability Project at (202) 296-2787.