Librarian of Congress James Billington, flanked by Reps. Gregg Harper and Dan Lungren at the Library of Congress on Wednesday, says Congress.gov will be a vital new legislative information resource for the public.
Many lawmakers support making the LOC's legislative information available in database form, but the initiative has stalled because of lingering concerns about cost and the need to protect government documents from manipulation by outside groups.
Jim Karamanis, chief of web services at the LOC, told Roll Call that Congress has the authority to tell the LOC to make a legislative database available to the public. Should that time come, the new Congress.gov is well-equipped to support that, he said.
As for input from the public, Karamanis explained that Congress.gov will be in "beta" status for at least a year, meaning the content and design of the site will continue to evolve as user feedback streams in.
Rep. Elijah Cummings, D-Md., right, hugs Harold Schaitberger, General President of the International Association of Fire Fighters, after the Congressman spoke at the IAFF's Legislative Conference General Session at the Hyatt Regency on Capitol Hill, March 9, 2015. The day featured addresses by members of Congress and Vice President Joe Biden.