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house Bill H.R. 5143

Does Congress Need to Electronically Publish its Documents in a Searchable Format?

Argument in favor

It’s the 21st century — there’s no reason that Congress shouldn’t be legally obligated to publish all of its documents in a way that allows the public to easily search them electronically.

chicagomike's Opinion
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03/23/2018
Particularly given that a 2,000 page bill was just approved by both houses and signed by the president, AND almost certainly not read in its entirety by any of our employees (congress and the president), for damn sure we should be able to search everything they do electronically.
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Justin's Opinion
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03/23/2018
This would allow for people to look for specifics in a bill/legislation so that people could be less ignorant as to specifics of the document in question.
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Larrybz's Opinion
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03/23/2018
This provides faster more accurate communications within government and the needed transparency for the people. Congress is to work for the people not those that push their business agenda. Legislators are supposed to balance all perspectives and make the best decision for the country. Far too often special interests are harming our countries progress and leadership in what is good for the America and humanity.
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Argument opposed

Congress already publishes a lot of these documents online in some form, it’s incumbent on citizens to do the legwork themselves to track down what they’re looking for.

James's Opinion
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03/24/2018
They already do! If someone is so stupid that they don’t know how to look up congressional data then hire a secretary! Don’t add another level of burocracy!
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Dave's Opinion
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03/24/2018
Do we really want foreign hackers to access this info ? You know they would try. What if they were successful?
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Jessy's Opinion
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03/25/2018
I want to be for this but I believe that many of these pieces of legislation are written in such backwards legalese that a simple photocopy of the bill would only serve to confuse and distance many of those who are in need of a service like this. Additionally, there are many services that work to translate the legislation for us, and most who use these services will have multiple to get a good general picture with which to initiate their opinions.
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    Particularly given that a 2,000 page bill was just approved by both houses and signed by the president, AND almost certainly not read in its entirety by any of our employees (congress and the president), for damn sure we should be able to search everything they do electronically.
    Like (202)
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    They already do! If someone is so stupid that they don’t know how to look up congressional data then hire a secretary! Don’t add another level of burocracy!
    Like (18)
    Follow
    Share
    This would allow for people to look for specifics in a bill/legislation so that people could be less ignorant as to specifics of the document in question.
    Like (80)
    Follow
    Share
    This provides faster more accurate communications within government and the needed transparency for the people. Congress is to work for the people not those that push their business agenda. Legislators are supposed to balance all perspectives and make the best decision for the country. Far too often special interests are harming our countries progress and leadership in what is good for the America and humanity.
    Like (55)
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    Public records don't just need to be public, they need to be accessible. As complicated and exhaustive as these records are, making them searchable is absolutely necessary.
    Like (48)
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    We need more transparency!
    Like (44)
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    Absolutely. It’s absurd that these bills are effectively impossible to parse in any sort of efficient fashion.
    Like (25)
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    I'm expected to be fully transparent at my job. Why shouldn't our elected officials?
    Like (18)
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    This was supposed to be a government of, by, and for the people. That stopped a long time ago, both transparency might go a long way to holding “our representatives” responsible for their actions.
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    I want to know what these guys are doing. Why? Because we as taxpayers pay their salaries.
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    Interesting timing for this. No one apparently had ANY transparency issues with the previous President, who is largely, with his minions, implicated in the use of the DOJ and FBI for anti-Trump purposes or, you know, the 2,000+ page document known as Obamacare.
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    No brainer
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    Making the documents searchable is a step in the right direction. Let’s go one step further - pass a bill requiring the voting representative and senator to actually READ the bill they are voting on. This is especially highlighted by the “throw our future generations under the OMNIBUS” 2200+ page bill that was rushed through the entire government process. It is an insult to the process and constituents the way this was handled.
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    Transparency is key in ANY administration. Since Congress tends to be the problem most of the time, I'd say they need to be watched.
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    Yes, regardless of what they think, they work for us.
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    Do we really want foreign hackers to access this info ? You know they would try. What if they were successful?
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    Yes
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    YES, YES, and YES. Just do it whether you like it or not. It needs to be done ✅ now.
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    I definitely believe the people should be able to see what our elected officials are doing. This is one way we can provide some accountability and make sure our officials have our best interest at heart.
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    We should have access to the fine details that congress votes on.
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