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Re: [govtrack] Subcommittee?

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  • 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 1 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 2 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 3 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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