Access to Congressional Research Service Reports

Submitted by Hans Raum

Wikileaks recently released a comprehensive set of reports by the Congressional Research Service that had not previously been available to federal depository libraries or the general public.  The highly regarded and non-partisan reports had been previously available only to members of Congress and Wired magazine called their concealment “The biggest Congressional scandal of the digital age.”  Senator Patrick Leahy, who is a strong advocate of freedom of the press, has fought for years to make the reports public.

The Congressional Research Service is regarded as “Congress’s brain” and has a budget of over $100 million a year and the reports written by their experts cover a broad range of contentious issues, from the U. S. relationship with Israel to the financial collapse.  Public access to these reports is now available at http://www.wikileaks.org/wiki/Change_you_can_download:_a_billion_in_secret_Congressional_reports

Well over 2,000 reports have been updated in the past year and the oldest report goes back to 1990.  The recent release of these reports is an important milestone in the development of a more open and accountable government.

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