H.R.4582 - Citizen Legislature Empowerment through Access to Resources (CLEAR) Act106th Congress (1999-2000)
|Sponsor:||Rep. DeMint, Jim [R-SC-4] (Introduced 06/06/2000)|
|Committees:||House - House Administration|
|Latest Action:||06/06/2000 Referred to the House Committee on House Administration. (All Actions)|
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Text: H.R.4582 — 106th Congress (1999-2000)All Bill Information (Except Text)
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Introduced in House (06/06/2000)
[Congressional Bills 106th Congress] [From the U.S. Government Printing Office] [H.R. 4582 Introduced in House (IH)] 106th CONGRESS 2d Session H. R. 4582 To provide Internet access to congressional documents, including certain Congressional Research Service publications, and for other purposes. _______________________________________________________________________ IN THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES June 6, 2000 Mr. DeMint (for himself, Mr. Canady of Florida, Mrs. Chenoweth-Hage, Mr. Coburn, Mr. Hill of Montana, Mr. Metcalf, Mr. Salmon, Mr. Sanford, Mr. Tancredo, and Mr. Toomey) introduced the following bill; which was referred to the Committee on House Administration _______________________________________________________________________ A BILL To provide Internet access to congressional documents, including certain Congressional Research Service publications, and for other purposes. Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled, SECTION 1. SHORT TITLE. This Act may be cited as the ``Citizen Legislature Empowerment through Access to Resources (CLEAR) Act''. SEC. 2. FINDINGS; PURPOSE. (a) Findings.--Congress finds that-- (1) an informed electorate is the most precious asset of any democracy; (2) it is often burdensome, difficult, and time-consuming for citizens to obtain timely access to records of the Congress; (3) it is also challenging for Members and committees of Congress to provide timely access to current records of Congress through websites maintained by Congress; (4) congressional documents which are placed in the Congressional Record are made available to the public electronically by the Superintendent of Documents under the direction of the Public Printer; (5) other congressional documents are also made available electronically on websites maintained by Members and committees of Congress; (6) a wide range of records of Congress remain inaccessible to the public; (7) the public should have easy and timely access, including electronic access, to records of the Congress; and (8) Congress should use new technologies to enhance public access to records and other important information of the Congress. (b) Purposes.--The purposes of this Act are-- (1) to foster democracy by ensuring public access to records of Congress; (2) to improve public access to records of Congress; (3) to enhance the electronic public access, including access through the Internet, to records of Congress; and (4) to further enhance the education of citizens and encourage their participation in the government of their country. SEC. 3. AVAILABILITY OF CERTAIN CRS INFORMATION. (a) Availability of Information.-- (1) In general.--The Director of the Congressional Research Service shall make available through a centralized electronic database, for the purpose of Members and committees providing access and retrieval by the public as described in section 4, all information described in paragraph (2) which is available through the Congressional Research Service website. (2) Information to be made available.--The information to be made available under paragraph (1) is as follows: (A) Congressional Research Service Issue Briefs. (B) Congressional Research Service Reports which are available to Members of Congress through the Congressional Research Service website. (C) Congressional Research Service Authorization of Appropriations Products and Appropriations Products. (3) Rule of construction.--Nothing in this subsection shall be construed to require the Director to make available under this subsection any document or other information which is prepared by the Congressional Research Service solely in response to a research request of an individual, office, or committee for the exclusive use of such individual, office, or committee. (b) Limitations.-- (1) Confidential information.--Subsection (a) does not apply to any information which is confidential, as determined by-- (A) the Director; or (B) the head of the Federal department or agency which provided the information to the Congressional Research Service. (2) Redaction and revision.--In carrying out this section, the Director of the Congressional Research Service may-- (A) remove from the information required to be made available under subsection (a) the name and phone number of, and any other information regarding, an employee of the Congressional Research Service; (B) remove from the information required to be made available under subsection (a) any material for which the Director determines that making it available under subsection (a) may infringe the copyright of a work protected under title 17, United States Code; and (C) make any changes in the information required to be made available under subsection (a) that the Director determines necessary to ensure that the information is accurate and current. (c) Time.--The Director of the Congressional Research Service shall make available all information required under this section in a timely and prompt manner. (d) Manner.--The Director of the Congressional Research Service shall make information required to be made available under this section in a manner which-- (1) is practical and reasonable; and (2) does not permit the submission of comments from the public. SEC. 4. METHOD OF ACCESS. (a) In General.--Public access to information made available under this Act shall be provided through the websites maintained by Members and committees of the House of Representatives and the Senate. The Director of the Congressional Research Service shall work with the Chief Administrative Officer of the House of Representatives and the Sergeant at Arms of the Senate to carry out this subsection. (b) Editorial Responsibility for CRS Reports Online.--The Director of the Congressional Research Service is responsible for maintaining and updating the information made available on the Internet under section 3, and shall have sole discretion to edit that information under this Act. (c) Further Approval Not Required.--Notwithstanding any other provision of law, the Director of the Congressional Research Service shall make available the information required to be made available under section 3 to Members and committees of Congress for the purposes described in this Act without the prior approval of the Committee on Rules and Administration of the Senate, the Committee on House Administration of the House of Representatives, or the Joint Committee on Printing. SEC. 5. RULE OF CONSTRUCTION. Nothing in this Act may be construed-- (1) to modify the role of the Congressional Research Service as an institution whose mission is to provide service to Congress and not to persons outside of Congress; or (2) to infringe on the constitutional protections provided for the work product of the Congressional Research Service which enable the Service to fulfill its mission of serving Congress. SEC. 6. SENSE OF CONGRESS REGARDING COMMITTEE MATERIALS. It is the sense of Congress that each standing and special committee of the House of Representatives and Senate and each joint committee of Congress, in accordance with such rules as the committee may adopt, should provide access to the public through the Internet to publicly available committee information, documents, and proceedings, including bills, reports, and transcripts of committee meetings which are open to the public. <all>