Why Does Congress Keep CRS Reports Secret? One Possible Answer

January 2, 2013

The Congressional Research Service is a nonpartisan arm of the Library of Congress whose job is to compile research reports giving Congress background information on the important issues of the day. While the reports are paid for by taxpayers, Congress does not allow them to be published. They are freely leaked and republished by watchdog groups, like the Federation of American Scientists' Government Secrecy Project. We are grateful to FAS for the reports below.

Congress' motives for the nondisclosure bear scrutiny. Is it merely to sound smart or hog the glory of releasing them? A recent report by Manuel Quinones in E&E Daily suggests another motive: fiddling with inconvenient truths (or untruths). Supporters of legislation to keep EPA from regulating coal ash, Quinones reported December 19, 2012, objected to the way a CRS analyst characterized their bill, and were considering trying to change CRS' findings.