Democratic Whip Hoyer Praises Digital Compilation and Publishing of the United States Code of Laws

For Immediate Release:

July 30, 2013

Contact:

Amanda Ott, 202-225-3130

WASHINGTON, DC – House Democratic Whip Steny H. Hoyer (MD) praised the House of Representatives Office of the Law Revision Counsel (OLRC) for their announcement today on completing the significant task of compiling the entire Unites States Code of Laws in structured XML for the first time and dynamically publishing the code via bulk download.   

“OLRC has taken an important step towards making our federal laws more open and transparent,” said Whip Hoyer. “Congress has a duty to publish our collective body of enacted federal laws in the most modern and accessible way possible, which today means publishing our laws online in a structured, digital format.  I congratulate the OLRC for completing this significant accomplishment. 

“This is another accomplishment of the Legislative Branch Bulk Data Task Force. The Task Force was created in a bipartisan effort during last year’s budget process,” Hoyer continued. “I want to thank Reps. Mike Honda and Mike Quigley for their leadership in this area, and Speaker Boehner and Leader Cantor for making this task force bipartisan. I also want to commend the dedicated civil servants who are leading the effort from the non-partisan legislative branch agencies, like OLRC, who work diligently behind the scenes – too often without recognition – to keep Congress working and moving forward.”

The goal of the task force is to open and modernize legislative branch data, allowing academics, developers, and civic activists to build new apps and programs to use legislative information in inventive new ways.  Earlier this year, the Government Printing Office began providing bulk access to House bills and the House Clerk began publishing floor summaries in XML.  The Obama Administration and many state and local governments are also making open government data a priority, enabling innovative websites and mobile apps. 

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