The Honorable John BoehnerH-232 The CapitolWashington, DC 20515The Honorable Harry Reid522 Hart Senate Office BuildingWashington, DC 20510The Honorable Nancy Pelosi235 Cannon House Office BuildingWashington, DC 20515The Honorable Mitch McConnell317 Russell Senate Office BuildingWashington, DC 20510August 3, 2011Dear Speaker Boehner, Majority Leader Reid, Minority Leader Pelosi and Minority Leader McConnell:We are writing to urge you to end the secrecy that has clouded debt limit negotiations up until now byensuring that the new Joint Select Committee on Deficit Reduction operates in a transparent andaccountable manner. This committee has enormous responsibility and power, and must be open to publicscrutiny in order to maintain public faith in its work. Public interest in the Committee’s work couldhardly be greater, and the public, along with Members of Congress, must be able to evaluate its work,not just its final product.While in recent years we have seen Congress improve online disclosure of its work, the Budget ControlAct applies surprisingly few transparency requirements to the Joint Select Committee on DeficitReduction. There are a number of actions we urge you to take to ensure its work is open and transparent.At a minimum, we request the Committee meet the following requirements:
All official meetings and hearings should be webcast live and archived on the Joint Committeewebsite.
The text of the legislation and report resulting from the Committee’s work must be madeavailable online 72 hours prior to the final committee vote.
Contacts between lobbyists or other powerful interests and committee members or staff must allbe disclosed online on a daily basis. Related written communications and documents should also