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house Bill H.R. 5760

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 publishing all of its documents in a way that allows the public to easily search them electronically.

Zard's Opinion
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10/05/2016
At this point, if Congress doesn't print it's text online in searchable format, it would be to prevent citizens from participating. This should have been done at least 20 years ago and speaks volumes about how the powerful in this country behave toward the 99%.
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Christian's Opinion
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10/05/2016
I believe as a citizen of the United States, I have the right to be able to easily access laws and other documents concerning laws and policies that concern me and others.
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Dawson's Opinion
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10/05/2016
Transparency is essential to a true Republic. Open, honest, true.
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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.

Loraki's Opinion
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10/06/2016
1. The Congressional Record publishes the proceedings and debates of Congress. (There's even an app!) 2. Congress.gov lets you search legislation. 3. Govtrack.us lets you track votes on bills. 4. We also have Countable, which helps provide us with a fair amount of information. What more do you need?! Seriously, I'd like to know! Do we really need to spend money on duplicating the information? Or am I overlooking something? Do Americans need to be spoon fed all the information they say they want? Has our society gotten too lazy even to use Google or some other search engine to do our own research? Just wondering!
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jayar's Opinion
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10/05/2016
This is already being done and this bill would just waste more taxpayer money.
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Roberto's Opinion
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10/22/2016
This is already done. It would just be another waste of money at this point
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    At this point, if Congress doesn't print it's text online in searchable format, it would be to prevent citizens from participating. This should have been done at least 20 years ago and speaks volumes about how the powerful in this country behave toward the 99%.
    Like (100)
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    1. The Congressional Record publishes the proceedings and debates of Congress. (There's even an app!) 2. Congress.gov lets you search legislation. 3. Govtrack.us lets you track votes on bills. 4. We also have Countable, which helps provide us with a fair amount of information. What more do you need?! Seriously, I'd like to know! Do we really need to spend money on duplicating the information? Or am I overlooking something? Do Americans need to be spoon fed all the information they say they want? Has our society gotten too lazy even to use Google or some other search engine to do our own research? Just wondering!
    Like (29)
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    I believe as a citizen of the United States, I have the right to be able to easily access laws and other documents concerning laws and policies that concern me and others.
    Like (36)
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    Transparency is essential to a true Republic. Open, honest, true.
    Like (20)
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    Yes, not only from a transparency perspective, but if done properly will serve as a user-friendly informative and educational tool for the people.
    Like (17)
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    Searchable? Sure, unless Congress has something to hide. But who would think Congress had something to hide? Seems like there was something… was it Obamacare? Yes, that's where Nancy said they had to pass it so we could find out what's in it. Remember, Socialism is for the voters, not the leaders.
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    This is already being done and this bill would just waste more taxpayer money.
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    It's kind of ridiculous that they haven't been doing this already. It's 2016, the vast majority of the information we consume is online, and if the government wants to even appear that they're making an attempt at a democratic republic this basic level of transparency should be covered
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    Obvious and overdue!
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    This is a "no brainer," all governmental documents should be easily accessible to the constituency that are the foundation country's government. No if, ands or buts. And to get those documents into the hands of the people in an easily acquired and catalogued form should be a primary goal of all governmental agencies including the two congressional houses.
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    This is a no brainier, public record is public, and in 2016 that shouldn't mean someone needs to seek a physical document, it's a simple as that.
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    Does this even need explanation?
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    It's 2016. Having paper copies only is passé.
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    I get that Congress dislikes the present & the future but it does seem like time for our elected accusers (everything they don't like about America is the fault of women, minorities, non-conservative Christians, hungry children & poor people) to tip toe into the 21st century. At least electronically. This shouldn't be too threatening--at least I haven't noticed a 'taker' among the bytes! Still, who knows? There are enemies to America lurking anywhere that requires Members to actually show up & attempt to think about what might work for the country!
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    Only one person was dumb enough to think this was a bad idea
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    Why not? This adds to the level of transparency required for a truly informed electorate in the modern age.
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    Yes
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    It's 2016
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    Absolutely. This would allow us to see who wrote the legislation, who sponsored it , who lobbied for it and who voted for it. It is exactly what we need.
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    This would help transparency and therefore trust in government as well as help with general knowledge of government.
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