Sunlight Foundation: Tell the “Super Congress” to Open Up
Washington DC, 10 August 2011
(by Daniel Dietrich)
Facing the current financial crisis the US Congress passed through the “Debt Ceiling” bill. The Debt Ceiling bill recently signed into law creates a congressional committee (nicknamed the “Super Congress”) that will make the decision on how to cut $1.5 trillion from the national debt. Even as this power is given to 12 members of Congress, the new law says very little about how open it should be. Only the first meeting, the ultimate report and the vote on the final product are required to be public.
The Sunlight Foundation, an US non-for-profit Organisation is concerned about this and so started a campaign called: Tell the “Super Congress” to Open Up. From the campaign website:
"As the “Super Congress” decides where the $1.5 trillion dollar axe will fall or how new revenues will be raised, you can bet that a carnival of fundraising and lobbying will accompany the Committee’s negotiations.
Sunlight demands that this new joint committee operate with a super level of accountability and transparency, rather than business as usual. Sunlight and a coalition of partner organizations have been pushing for common sense steps the Super Congress can take to turn on the lights. These include:
- Live webcasts of all official meetings and hearings
- The Committee's report should be posted for 72 hours before a final committee vote
- Disclosure of every meeting held with lobbyists and other powerful interests
- Disclosure of campaign contributions as they are received (on their campaign websites)
- Financial disclosures of Committee members and staffers
We demand that decisions that will have enormous impact on our lives be as transparent as possible. It is critical that we raise our voices together."