Bill Would Authorize Release of CRS Reports

03.04.16 | 2 min read | Text by Steven Aftergood

A bill to make Congressional Research Service reports available to the public through authorized rather than unauthorized channels was introduced in Congress yesterday.

The bill was sponsored in the Senate (S. 2639) by Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-VT) and Sen.  John McCain (R-AZ) and in the House (H.R. 4702) by Rep. Leonard Lance (R-NJ) and Rep. Mike Quigley (D-IL).

While the support of these congressional sponsors of both parties is promising, the proposal to provide authorized public access to non-confidential CRS publications is not assured of passage.

A press release from Sen. Leahy’s office yesterday noted gamely that “McCain and Leahy have partnered for more than a decade in pressing for this change.”

Still, conditions for approval of the measure seem more favorable today than for many years past, thanks largely to a broad coalition of support mobilized by Daniel Schuman of Demand Progress and Kevin Kosar of the R Street Institute, themselves former CRS employees.

In the meantime, the latest reports from CRS that are not yet subject to authorized public disclosure include the following.

Lead in Flint, Michigan’s Drinking Water: Federal Regulatory Role, CRS Insight, updated March 2, 2016

Authorizing New Additions to Memorials in the District of Columbia: Issues for Consideration, CRS Insight, March 2, 2016

Cybersecurity: Education, Training, and R&D Authoritative Reports and Resources, March 3, 2016

Cybersecurity: Overview Reports and Links to Government, News, and Related Resources, March 2, 2016

Unfunded Mandates Reform Act: History, Impact, and Issues, March 2, 2016

Child Support: An Overview of Census Bureau Data on Recipients, March 1, 2016

The Proposed U.S. Foreign Assistance Initiative “Peace Colombia”, CRS Insight, March 3, 2016

Latin America and the Caribbean: Fact Sheet on Leaders and Elections, March 1, 2016

Marine Corps Amphibious Combat Vehicle (ACV) and Marine Personnel Carrier (MPC): Background and Issues for Congress, February 26, 2016

International Trade and Finance: Key Policy Issues for the 114th Congress, 2nd Session, February 29, 2016