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Policy Letter

Groups Call for Vote on Transparency Measure

Speaker John Boehner

U.S. House of Representatives

H-232, The Capitol

Majority Leader Eric Cantor

U.S. House of Representatives

H-329, The Capitol 1705

Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi

U.S. House of Representatives

H-204, The Capitol

Democratic Whip Steny Hoyer

U.S. House of Representatives

Longworth House Office Building


February 18, 2014

Dear Speaker Boehner, Majority Leader Cantor, Democratic Leader Pelosi, and Democratic Whip Hoyer:

We, the undersigned organizations, are writing to encourage the House to consider the bipartisan Access to Congressionally Mandated Reports Act (H.R. 1380) during the week of February 24th, when other measures touching upon executive branch oversight and transparency also will be considered, or at the earliest opportunity thereafter.

ACMRA, originally introduced by Rep. Mike Quigley, was favorably reported by the Committee on Oversight and Government Reform in May 2013, has the support of the Committee on House Administration, and has been lauded again and again by transparency organizations. The measure is the embodiment of common sense.

Under the legislation, any report required by law to be submitted to Congress that is releasable under the Freedom of Information Act must be posted on a website managed by the Government Printing Office. The reports would become publicly available within 30 days of their transmission to Congress. Unlike now, where reports are often impossible to find, ACMRA creates one central repository for all reports that would be easily searchable by subject matter, submitting agency, the law requiring the report, and additional key terms.

Congressionally mandated reports contain a wealth of information on federal activities. A comprehensive accounting for all mandated reports to Congress, including whether they have been received in a timely fashion, will further efforts to make government more transparent and accountable.

We welcome the opportunity to discuss this with you further. Please contact Daniel Schuman, policy director at Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington, at 202-408-5565 or [email protected].

Sincerely yours,

American Association of Law Libraries

American Association of University Professors (AAUP)

American Booksellers Foundation for Free Expression

Center for Responsive Politics

Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW)

Data Transparency Coalition

Demand Progress

Government Accountability Project (GAP)

Judicial Watch

National Coalition for History

National Security Counselors

Project On Government Oversight

R Street

Society of Professional Journalists

Sunlight Foundation

Taxpayers for Common Sense

cc: Darrell Issa, Chair, Committee on Oversight and Government Reform

Elijah Cummings, Ranking Member, Committee on Oversight and Government Reform

Candice Miller, Chair, Committee on House Administration

Robert Brady, Ranking Member, Committee on House Administration