Congressional Bills Online (fwd)

Patricia Clay (pclay@WHSUN1.WH.WHOI.EDU)
Wed, 8 Jun 1994 11:42:36 -0400

Forwarded message:
> From owner-native-l@TAMVM1.TAMU.EDU Wed Jun 8 11:38:17 1994
> Message-Id: <9406081538.AA14526@whsun1>
> Date: Tue, 7 Jun 1994 11:04:06 EST
> Reply-To:
> Sender: "NATIVE-L Aboriginal Peoples: news & information" <>
> From:
> Subject: Congressional Bills Online
> X-To:
> To: Multiple recipients of list NATIVE-L <>
> Original Sender: UICVM.UIC.EDU!!gwelker
> Mailing List: NATIVE-L (
> June 2, 1994
> EDNET List
> by: Mike Ward (, TAP
> Jamie Love (, TAP
> A special 60 day "Task Force on the Internet," has been created
> within the House of Representatives Committee on House
> Administration. This Task Force will be issuing a report
> (possibly the week of June 6-10) on the use of the Internet by
> the House of Representatives. Among the issues that the Task
> Force should address is the dissemination of bills being
> considered by the House. It is critically important to alert Task
> Force members to your interest in accessing bills before Congress
> through the Internet. TAP recommends that you email and fax the
> following House members, telling them that the House of
> Representatives should make available all bills pending before
> Congress through ftp, email ftp and gopher.
> Members of the TASK FORCE ON THE INTERNET are:
> Thomas Manton (D-NY)
> ph. 202-225-3965 fax 202-225-1909 NO EMAIL
> Sam Gejdenson (D-CT)
> ph. 202-225-3965 fax 202-225-2076
> Dale Kildee (D-MI)
> ph. 202-25-3611 fax 202-225-6393 NO EMAIL
> Bill Thomas (R-CA), Ranking Minority Member Comm. on House Admin.
> ph. 202-225-2915 fax 202-225-8798 NO EMAIL
> Jennifer Dunn (R-WA)
> ph. 202-225-7761 fax 202-225-8673 NO EMAIL
> Also important is:
> Pat Roberts (R-KS), Ranking minority member of the Joint
> Committee on Printing
> ph. 202-225-2715 fax 202-225-5375
> -----------------------------------
> Our letter reads as follows:
> Representative Sam Gejdenson, et. al
> Task Force on the Internet
> U.S. House of Representatives
> Dear Representative:
> We are writing to urge you to make all pending bills available on
> the Internet. We have been asking for online access to
> congressional bills for three years. It is our understanding that
> the principal opposition to this has come from a handful of
> commercial data vendors. We think that the time has come for
> Congress to think in terms of how it can make democracy work
> better for the public, rather than find ways to enrich a few
> commercial interests. If Congress can find millions of dollars
> for Congressional franking privileges, sending out thinly
> disguised campaign literature, it can find a few thousand dollars
> to put copies of pending legislation online so that ordinary
> citizens can better monitor the activities of Congress.
> Thank you.
> Sincerely
> James Love
> Mike Ward
> Taxpayer Assets Project
> ------------------------------------
> GPO Access Program Announcement on "enrolled bills"
> Several readers wrote us in regards to a post circulated on the
> Internet announcing the Government Printing Office's plan to make
> bills accessible through the Internet on June 8th. The
> announcement about the GPO Access Program only pertained to bills
> already passed by both the House and Senate, "enrolled bills",
> that are awaiting the President's signature. These bills are of
> little use for citizen participation in the democratic process
> since they have already been passed by congress.
> mike
> --------------------------
> letter from Representative Charlie Rose
> Attached is a letter from Rep. Charlie Rose (,
> Chairman of the Committee on House Administration, responding to
> those who wrote him in regards to the May 9th TAP-INFO, "Zimmer
> Urges House Legislation Be Accessible on the Internet."
> Dear Interested Network Citizen:
> Thank you for your recent interest and thoughtful comments regarding
> the availability of proposed legislation on the Internet. As you may
> know, the Committee on House Administration, which I Chair, and House
> Information Systems have been working hard to make Member and Committee
> offices accessible to the Internet. Currently, twenty-five Members and
> several committees have established Internet mail boxes. In March I
> announced the availability to all Member offices public electronic mail
> services using the Internet. We are also providing access for Member
> offices directly to the Internet for staff research. As part of these
> efforts, House Information Systems has also established a server on the
> Internet which uses the University of Minnesota GOPHER software to
> provide a wide variety of information about the House of
> Representatives, its Members, and committees. This server is accessible
> on the Internet, and is named GOPHER.HOUSE.GOV. Information regarding
> the public electronic mail system, which provides a mail box for
> constituents to send electronic mail messages to their Member of
> Congress, can be obtained by sending an electronic mail message to:
> The Committee on House Administration is currently considering various
> policy alternatives regarding the release of the electronic version of
> congressional documents printed by the Government Printing Office. In
> fact I have created a task force, which conducted a hearing this past
> Wednesday, May 5, to explore those alternatives. After receiving input
> from the task force, the Committee will direct House Information Systems
> to add the electronic data base version of printed documents that can be
> economically and accurately made available. I would also encourage you
> to write Bill Thomas of California, the Ranking Minority Member of the
> Committee on House Administration and Pat Roberts of Kansas, the Ranking
> Minority Member of the Joint Committee on Printing. It is important
> that they know your views of this important subject.
> Once again, thank you for your interest and please watch for additional
> announcements regarding the availability of on-line congressional
> information.
> With my very best wishes,
> Sincerely,
> Charlie Rose
> Chairman
> Distributed to TAP-INFO, a free Internet Distribution List
> (subscription requests to
> (please distribute freely)
> Crown Jewels Campaign - LEGIS
> ---------------------------------------------------------------------
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> Taxpayer Assets Project; P.O. Box 19367, Washington, DC 20036
> v. 202/387-8030; f. 202/234-5176; internet:
> ---------------------------------------------------------------------
> Subject: Congress? ... a comment
> Message-ID: <Pine.3.89.9406051540.A29605-0100000@cln>
> I am not an American, and so, not entitled to expound any opinions on the
> posting about congress and internet access ... but I do have a comment.
> In the last few days I had occasion to research email addresses for all
> U.S. Congress members who had established such access. The information in
> all three internet directories (complete ones too *tongue in cheek*) were
> wrong. Inquiry made to the white house resulted in autoresponder response
> that also proved inaccessible. Email to the congressional address itself
> proved to bring incorrect (or perhaps simply not current) information on
> access.
> However, going the strict "gopher till you drop" route, LC Marvel,
> Library of Congress Gopher had a list of the required information.
> FYI there are 4 senators, 27 members and 3 committees accessing
> information by email, or at least making a good show of it with an email
> address.
> But going through gopher menu *Washington DC* to the selections of
> government
> information, one can find literally hundreds of pages on current bills,
> debates, and other congressional *stuff* including directories and phone
> books, etc.
> All this, in conjunction with the timely posting about congress and the
> internet, leads my to wonder ...
> I wonder why the white house could not give me the correct, current
> information about how to access congressional email addresses.
> I wonder why the congressional email contact could not give me ... see
> above ...
> I wonder if anyone, especially those pushing the common people to access
> internet (there's a joke and a half) are aware of the information already
> available if you know where to look.
> and last . . .
> I wonder why the committee that is looking into congress and the internet
> is made up of six persons, of which only one has email communication.
> Hmmmmmm ... ?
> Barbara McTier