Yesterday the House of Representatives began publishing its spending data online as a spreadsheet (and continued publishing it online as a PDF file).
As Josh Tauberer explains in Open Government Data: The Book, the compilation of spending data, known as the Statements of Disbursements, includes “how much congressmen and their staffs are paid, what kinds of expenses they have, and who they are paying for those services.” While it does not contain all the nitty-gritty details, the Disbursements data can tell you a lot about the health and activities of Congress.
There is a weird difference in how Democrats and Republicans refer to the Democratic Party, and it comes down to the suffix “ic.” Republicans overwhelmingly use the term “Democrat Party,” while both democrats and republicans use the phrase “Democratic Party.”
In a heartening development for anyone who cares about Congress as an institution, today the House of Representatives Appropriations Committee agreed by voice vote to an amendment offered by Rep. Farr (D-CA) to increase funding for member personal offices by 1.5%. This modest increase will help provide funds that can be used to give staff a long-deserved cost of living adjustment.
Today the House of Representatives’ Appropriations Committee debated two amendments that would make Congressional Research Service reports more equitably available to the public. The effort to release the reports was led by Rep. Mike Quigley (D-IL) and Rep. Scott Rigell (R-VA).
I run a small, free, opengov jobs list with about 700 participants. On the public-facing side, it’s a Google group that anyone can join to learn about or post jobs. On the back-end, I monitor 50+ organizational websites to alert me when a new job is posted. Most organizations are truly awful in how they post their job announcements.