In a positive step for those of us who support greater public release of Congressional Research Service (CRS) reports, Sen. Joe Lieberman, I-Conn., has shown that he is committed to making it easier for senators to release them.
Following up on his resolution (S. Res 401) to provide the public with greater access to CRS reports, Lieberman called on Senate Rules Committee Chair Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., to ensure that a complete system be crafted that allows members to make many reports accessible to the public rather than one that takes detailed effort from congressional staff to make individual reports available.
CRS provides important in-depth, non-partisan research to Congress on a wide range of issues. These taxpayer funded, unclassified documents have never been made readily accessible to the public by Congress. Despite being created with taxpayer funding and not copyrighted, they are regularly sold by information brokers.
Meanwhile, the best way for non-Hill staff to get access to these documents for free is OpenCRS an interactive project that provides the public with access to a portion of the CRS reports that have been released by various members of Congress through the cooperation of groups and individuals who have requested the reports release via members of Congress.