Roll Call: Latest News on Capitol Hill, Congress, Politics and Elections
February 8, 2016

House GOP Launches New ‘Citizen Cosponsor’ Site

House Majority Leader Eric Cantor, R-Va., launched a new website Tuesday that will allow the public to “co-sponsor” and track legislation.

In what he called a “sweeping expansion” of the Citizen Cosponsor initiative started in March 2012, the interactive will now feature every bill and resolution introduced by House Republicans and Democrats.

The website has also been streamlined to allow for easier browsing and cleaner display options.

In a morning news conference with reporters, Cantor said he hoped the new website would continue to promote a “national conversation online” about the legislative process.

“Hopefully what we will see is a lot of activity in that regard, people getting behind the proposals, the legislation they support,” Cantor said. “This is the government that belongs to the people and they ought to know what’s going on.”

When Cantor first launched the Citizen Cosponsors project, the initiative drew heat from Democratic leaders, who said that the website as originally introduced only included a few bills that all had overwhelmingly or GOP-only support.

“We support the premise of Citizen Cosponsor, but it’s disappointing that it has been implemented in a closed and partisan way,” an aide for House Minority Whip Steny H. Hoyer, D-Md., told CQ Roll Call at the time. “The app is described as creating ‘a more open, visible and participatory legislative process,’ but bill titles and summaries have been rewritten with partisan language.”

An aide for Cantor fired back.

“Several of the bills on Citizen Cosponsor have significant bipartisan support,” the aide said at the time. “This is only first stage of an innovative and interactive program.”

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