NEWS AND UPDATES
New House Rules Envision Data First Drafting and Comparison
The U.S. House of Representatives has adopted its rules for the new 117th Congress - and those rules envision a Data First future for the lower chamber.
Three key changes show that the House intends to keep moving toward a common open data format for all legislative materials, supporting new tools that make legislative work easier for Members of Congress, their staff, and the public.
For example, once legislation is expressed as standardized data, new Data First drafting tools, once implemented, will be able to create amendments by simply redlining the existing text. Data standards also mean that automatic comparison tools can show exactly how an amendment changes a bill and how a bill changes underlying laws.
Xcential is proud to serve the Clerk of the House, the Office of the Law Revision Counsel, and other support offices, creating the tools that use standardized data to secure a Data First future.
The three key changes involve:
Comparative Prints. Subsection (q) removes the requirement, added in the 115th Congress, that prior to the consideration of bills, joint resolutions, and amendments in the nature of a substitute, comparative prints must be made available. However, section 3(j) of this resolution directs the relevant committees and offices of the House to continue efforts to further the institutional priority of enabling all House staff to produce such comparative prints.
Broadening Availability and Utility of Legislative Documents in Machine-Readable Formats. Subsection (j) instructs the Committee on House Administration, the Clerk, and other officers and officials to continue to advance government transparency by taking further steps to publish documents of the House in machine-readable formats and broaden their utility by enabling all House staff to create comparative prints.
Improving the Committee Electronic Document Repository. Subsection (k) directs the Clerk, the Committee on House Administration, and other officers and officials to improve the existing electronic document repository operated by the Clerk for use by committees. Such improvements are intended to increase public availability and identification of legislative information produced by House committees, including votes, amendments, and witness disclosure forms.