Topic: Important nonpartisan accurate resources
In 2014, I posted about CRS, a section of the Library of Congress (LINK). Some of its reports were posted online haphazardly. (The report I referenced has been updated.) During the pre-election craziness, I searched Wikileak’s website for the term “veterans.” I didn’t spend much time reading hits but I was surprised to find out that the over CRS 6,700 reports, all public domain documents, are not open access. They are, however, on a private internal Congressional website.
Wikileaks website gave over 6,000 reports to other archives, some now defunct. New archiving projects, launched by transparency activists, have filled the gaps.
CRS Reports (LINK) is one with 77 veteran reports.
Every CRS Report (LINK), contains 8,277 reports with over 100 on veterans. Here are a few miscellaneous titles:
- Veterans Affairs: Presumptive Service Connection and Disability Compensation 11/18/14 (LINK)
- How Agencies Monetize “Statistical Lives” Expected to Be Saved By Regulations 3/24/10 (LINK)
- Department of Veterans Affairs FY2017 Appropriations 10/26/16 (LINK)
- Supplemental Security Income (SSI): Income/Resource Limits and Accounts Exempt from Benefit Determinations 1/23/14 (LINK)
According to LOC, citizens pay the salaries and benefits of over “400 policy analysts, attorneys and information professionals” to prepare reports for Congress upon request. These reports do not deal with classified matters so why the blackout?
Open government lawmakers such as Senators John McCain (R-Arizona) and Patrick J. Leahy (D-Vermont) have fought for years to make the reports public, with bills being introduced–and rejected–almost every year since 1998. The CRS, as a branch of Congress, is exempt from the Freedom of Information Act.