Lawmakers announce bipartisan Transparency Caucus

Reps. Darrell Issa, R-Calif., and Mike Quigley, D-Ill., on Thursday announced the formation of a bipartisan Transparency Caucus. The lawmakers said the caucus will serve as a resource for members of Congress on bipartisan open government initiatives. Advances in technology have made it possible for the government to offer searchable, sortable, downloadable information online for citizen access, Issa and Quigley noted. "The caucus will seek to move current practices forward and encourage easier access for the American public through education, legislation and oversight," they wrote in an announcement.

The group also will monitor the enforcement of existing transparency laws and mandates, particularly President Obama's Open Government Directive, which requires agencies to make their data sets available online and sets certain transparency standards.

Issa and Quigley also released the principles of the caucus, which include, "The American people have the right to demand objective, transparent performance standards for all federal agencies," and, "The American people have the right to track all federal spending and scrutinize the federal budget."

"Sunlight is indeed the best disinfectant," Issa said. "On a bipartisan basis this caucus can bring about real changes to the way our government does business."

The lawmakers said 17 other representatives -- eight Democrats and nine Republicans -- have indicated their interest in joining the caucus.

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