A lawmaker wants to use a Microsoft Word-like feature that makes text edits visible in an effort to inject more transparency into the legislative process.
The Establishing Digital Interactive Transparency Act, introduced June 15 by Rep. Elise Stefanik, R-N.Y., would require congressional bills posted online to include a “track changes-style system” showing all the tweaks made to legislation as it makes its way through Congress.
Bills are already made available on Congress.gov, the Library of Congress’ online legislation tracker that first rolled out in 2012. The website provides a copy of the bill text, lists co-sponsors and provides an update on the latest action -- but it can be difficult to track updates to legislation and nearly impossible to follow line-by-line rewrites.
Stefanik’s bill would require the Library of Congress, within a year of the bill’s passage, to implement a track-changes system that would allow viewers to track revisions made to legislation within the same document.
“We live in an age of limitless information and technology that is never further than your pocket -- we should use these tools to provide the American people more open, transparent access to our work in Congress,” Stefanik said in a statement.
In the absence of such a system now, we’ll keep you posted on any changes to Stefanik’s bill in the meantime.