“Big Strides”: House’s #OpenGov Reforms Draw Bipartisan Praise | Speaker.gov

The House is becoming more open and transparent thanks in part to “an official House leadership operation that’s relentlessly digital,” POLITICO reports today.

The story – in addition to looking at the great work being done by the House Republican Conference under Chair Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-WA) – delves into how the House is leading the way on open government.  There’s even praise from an unlikely source.  Check it out:

“Both the House GOP and Democrats have actually made big strides when it comes to using technology on the official front, often moving in bipartisan fashion in the name of institutional change and greater transparency. …

“Working together, for example, the House in 2012-13 adopted new transparency standards that allowed for the bulk data release of the U.S. Code, as well as legislation and floor summaries — a critical change that has helped fuel the Sunlight Foundation’s OpenCongress.org and other third-party sites that can turn the information into a more user-friendly experience.  Members can also now bring their tablets, smartphones and other electronic devices onto the floor.  And they can use their official funds to buy ads on Facebook and Twitter so long as they are designed to increase their followers, something that’s still prohibited in the Senate.

The GOP leadership team deserves credit ‘for engaging in a variety of positive developments with regard to new media usage in the House,’ said Faiz Shakir, digital director for Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.), who previously held the same job for House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.).  ‘I think in general some of these developments have even outpaced where the Senate has been able to go,’ Shakir said.

These innovations go well with the reforms Speaker Boehner has made to open up the legislative process, with the minority being able to offer more amendments and more debate occurring under open rules.

All of this adds up to more scrutiny, which means more accountability and more of a say for the people we serve.  We have more strides to make, of course, and we’ll be keeping at it.     

To learn more, visit speaker.gov/open.