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A New Year's Resolution

We’re kicking off the New Year by calling out some of the so-called pundits who have argued that too much transparency is at the root of Washington gridlock.

That’s just flat wrong.

Gary D. Bass, the executive director of the Bauman Foundation, and Norman Eisen, a visiting fellow at the Brookings Institution, joined me in an op-ed published last week in the Washington Post to explain why an open government is a better government. You can read the op-ed here.

We get it. There’s a frustration with how things work (or rather don’t) in Congress. But adding more secrecy won’t make Congress better; it will just give the special interests that want to roll back important reforms more room to operate outside of the public eye.

We saw how this can happen in the last moments of last year’s House calendar. As the 2014 congressional session ended, lobbyists for the banking industry pulled out all the stops to derail improvements to the Freedom of Information Act. It was a bitterly disappointing outcome after we fought so hard to overcome a roadblock put up by retiring Sen. Jay Rockefeller. Liz Hempowicz, our public policy fellow, recaps what happened on our blog.

The fight to keep government open and transparent is far from over. Together, we’ll continue to make our voices heard.

By: Danielle Brian
Executive Director, POGO

danielle brian Ms. Brian's areas of expertise include: National Security, Government Oversight, Wasteful Defense Spending, Ethics, Open Government, Whistleblower Issues

Topics: Open Government

Related Content: Government Secrecy, Freedom of Information Act (FOIA), Democracy

Authors: Danielle Brian

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