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Subcommittee?

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  • Jeremy Dunck
    I recently saw a video from 2004 CSPAN coverage showing a subcommittee (Sponsored Enterprises). Does govtrack have votes from things in committee? Is this
    Message 1 of 4 , Oct 6, 2008
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      I recently saw a video from 2004 CSPAN coverage showing a subcommittee
      (Sponsored Enterprises).

      Does govtrack have votes from things in committee? Is this
      information publicly available somewhere?
    • Aaron Swartz
      ... Not really. Committees sometimes put it up but not in any standard format; writing parsers for all of these is an open project that MAPLight is looking for
      Message 2 of 4 , Oct 6, 2008
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        > Does govtrack have votes from things in committee? Is this
        > information publicly available somewhere?

        Not really. Committees sometimes put it up but not in any standard
        format; writing parsers for all of these is an open project that
        MAPLight is looking for people to do.
      • John Wonderlich
        Josh can talk about what govtrack offers, but I can let you know that committee (and subcommittee) votes are rarely available online. I m looking into various
        Message 3 of 4 , Oct 6, 2008
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          Josh can talk about what govtrack offers, but I can let you know that committee (and subcommittee) votes are rarely available online.  I'm looking into various ways of pressuring or requiring that committees post record votes online.

          Voice votes, and votes totals, are included in committee reports, but the identity of those voting is rarely posted, and is usually only available on paper from the committee, in person.

          john

          On Mon, Oct 6, 2008 at 7:04 PM, Jeremy Dunck <jdunck@...> wrote:

          I recently saw a video from 2004 CSPAN coverage showing a subcommittee
          (Sponsored Enterprises).

          Does govtrack have votes from things in committee? Is this
          information publicly available somewhere?


        • Josh Tauberer
          ... Committee votes are generally public information, which is to say that the public has some Congress-given right to it. However, I suspect that this is
          Message 4 of 4 , Oct 6, 2008
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            Jeremy Dunck wrote:
            > I recently saw a video from 2004 CSPAN coverage showing a subcommittee
            > (Sponsored Enterprises).
            >
            > Does govtrack have votes from things in committee? Is this
            > information publicly available somewhere?

            Committee votes are generally public information, which is to say that
            the public has some Congress-given right to it. However, I suspect that
            this is handled on a committee-by-committee basis. What *is* handled on
            a committee-by-committee basis is how the votes are published. My
            informal impression is that disclosure ranges from:

            a) committees that don't publish this information online at all
            b) committees that publish the information only within extremely
            abstruse reports, without explaining what the votes were on,
            and including this in the PDFs as images so that they cannot
            be easily extracted
            c) something respectable

            Given that the most important part of the legislative process seems to
            be in committees, the lack of transparency is absolutely abhorrent and
            unacceptable. See the relevant section of the Open House Project report,
            for instance.

            And if you couldn't guess by now, it is too difficult for GovTrack to
            get this info. :(

            --
            - Josh Tauberer
            - GovTrack.us

            http://razor.occams.info

            "Yields falsehood when preceded by its quotation! Yields
            falsehood when preceded by its quotation!" Achilles to
            Tortoise (in "Godel, Escher, Bach" by Douglas Hofstadter)
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