Sign-on letters

Issue One joins crosspartisan push for greater transparency in the Senate

Coalition urges Senate to publish legislative text prior to votes

  • Elsha Aemero

Transparency and public participation in the legislative process are pillars of democratic legitimacy. But under current practices, the public is too often shut out of the process of how bills are crafted. That’s why Issue One recently joined a crosspartisan push encouraging greater accessibility and transparency of Senate bills and amendments.

A letter to the Senate Rules Committee last week signed by 41 organizations and 15 experts, including Issue One, urges the Senate to publish the text of bills and amendments online prior to votes — not just afterward. This shift in legislative procedure would give constituents and outside stakeholder groups the ability to engage with this material and make their voices heard prior to votes.

The push for greater transparency in the Senate is imperative, the groups wrote, because the current system creates “unequal access to information, whereby those with connections to Senate offices can at times gain access to information far more easily than those who do not.”

The letter continues: “While some information asymmetries are inevitable, privileged access to public business that currently is the subject of floor debate should be minimized to the extent practically possible.”

Issue One’s participation in this push for contemporaneous information is part of our broader work to modernize Congress and to make the legislative branch more transparent, efficient, and effective.

Read the full text of the letter.

The full list of signatories of this letter are as follows:

Organizational signatories:

  • American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee (ADC)
  • Americans for Prosperity
  • Americans for Tax Fairness
  • Bend the Arc: Jewish Action
  • Bipartisan Policy Center
  • Blue Wave Postcard Movement
  • Campaign for Accountability
  • Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW)
  • Community Research
  • Constitutional Alliance
  • Data Foundation
  • Defending Rights & Dissent
  • Demand Progress
  • Digital Democracy Project
  • Due Process Institute
  • Government Accountability Project
  • Government Information Watch
  • Issue One
  • Lincoln Network
  • Media Alliance
  • National Security Counselors
  • National Taxpayers Union
  • Oceana
  • OpenSecrets
  • Open The Government
  • Pay Our Interns
  • Progress America
  • Project On Government Oversight
  • Protect Democracy
  • Public Citizen
  • Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility
  • Quorum
  • R Street Institute
  • Revolving Door Project
  • Senior Executives Association
  • Taxpayers for Common Sense
  • Transparency International — U.S. Office
  • Unite America
  • URGE: Unite for Reproductive & Gender Equity

Individual signatories (affiliations listed for identification purposes only):

  • Alex Garlick, The College of New Jersey
  • Brian Baird, Former Member of Congress
  • E.J. Fagan, University of Illinois at Chicago
  • Gerald Epstein, Formerly with Congressional Office of Technology
  • James Thurber, American University
  • Jon Green, Northeastern University
  • Kevin Esterline, University of California, Riverside
  • Kevin Kosar, American Enterprise Institute
  • Lorelei Kelly, Beeck Center for Social Impact + Innovation at Georgetown University
  • Michael Crespin, Carl Albert Congressional Research and Studies Center
  • Norman Ornstein, American Enterprise Institute
  • Robert Cook-Deegan, Arizona State University
  • Samuel Workman, University of Oklahoma