News release: “Earlier today, House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) and Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-VA) announced that the US Code is now available for bulk download in XML. This seemingly technical announcement must be understood as a bigger win for transparency than it would initially appear. What the House leadership is doing (in a bipartisan fashion, no less) is empowering the American people to better understand the law. Congress is publishing the law online, in real time, and in formats that web developers can refashion into tools that empower everyone to understand the rules that govern our country. This is a milestone in a multi-year effort signaled by a 2011 policy shift announced by the Speaker and Majority Leader that called for “all House stakeholders to work together on publicly releasing the House’s legislative data in machine-readable formats.” Reps. Steny Hoyer (D-MD) and Mike Honda (D-CA) led earlier efforts (and lent their support to these efforts) to release legislative data online, and Rep. Darrell Issa (R-CA) has been a consistent advocate as well. (Also see this statement on today’s release by Committee on House Administration Chair Candice Miller (R-MI), whose committee has been an ally in these transparency efforts.)”
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