Today Congress passed its $1.3 trillion omnibus spending bill. A small provision (pages 1082 and 1092 to 1104) will offer a significant public benefit: it directs the Congressional Research Service (CRS) to expand public access to its reports. This provision also requires the Librarian of Congress to work with CRS to establish a new website to host these newly accessible resources.

R Street has long helped spearhead the campaign for public access to CRS reports. R Street Vice President of Policy Kevin Kosar, himself a veteran of CRS, applauded this development:

For decades only lobbyists and insiders had access to CRS reports, which explain the workings of government agencies and policies. Happily, Congress has remedied this gross inequity by making the reports available to everyone.

Broader access to CRS’ nonpartisan reports will help media and the public better discern the truth in a world flooded with half-truths and outright nonsense.

R Street applauds the work of Sens. Patrick Leahy, D-Vt. and John McCain, R-Ariz., and Reps. Kevin Yoder, R-Kan.; Tim Ryan, D-Ohio; Leonard Lance, R-N.J.; Blake Farenthold, R-Tex.; and Mike Quigley, D-Ill., along with all of the members who were co-sponsors of standalone legislation and who played instrumental roles in this victory.