In a snap vote last night, the House of Representatives passed the controversial Cyberintelligence Sharing and Protection Act, more commonly known as CISPA. The final roll call was 248-168, with most of the Republicans voting in favor and most of the Democrats voting against.Read Full Article
With taxes fresh on everyone's mind, Congress is returning from a two-week recess today and will immediately begin voting on a series of partisan tax bills. The first vote, which will be in the Senate, is the Democrats' so-called "Buffet Rule" that would ensure that people who earn more than $1 million per year pay an effective 30 percent tax rate. That vote -- technically on defeating a GOP filibuster on the motion to proceed -- will take place this afternoon.Read Full Article
The Republican House leadership of the 112th Congress has shown more of a commitment to opening up the inner workings of Congress than the leaderships of the recent past. They've liberaized the rules on what technologies members can use, improved live video offerings of floor activity, and created a new website for accessing the texts of some bills. But on the essential issue of making the raw data of Congress available to the public in a reliable, timely and systematic fashion, they have come up far short.Read Full Article
As we've mentioned before, we're working with a volunteer researcher, Brady Ambler, on a survey of OpenCongress users with the goal of improving the OC user experience and to generally help us make Congress more accessible. We're just about ready to start analyzing the data, but we need to talk to a few more site users to increase our sample size.
Do you have a few minutes to chat with Brady over the phone about how you use OpenCongress? We would really appreciate it. Just email bradyambler at gmail d0t com, and he'll get back to you to set up a convenient time to talk. Of course, we'll be sharing our findings publicly on this blog once we've wrapped this thing up. Thanks, all!Read Full Article