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House Leaders Make Government Documents More Easily Searchable.

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Congress has been in recess again this week, but that didn't stop House leaders and the Government Printing Office from taking another step towards becoming a more open institution.

In the past, interested users had to know computer code to access information on many bills. Even then, the documents weren't easy to search through. The printing office announced its making bills available in XML format, which will allow bulk downloads and more user friendly searches.

The House Clerk also is making House Floor Summaries available in XML format.

Government watchdog groups are praising the move, which is expected to spawn the development of new mobile apps and websites for the public to more easily search through government data.

In a statement, Maryland Democrat Steny Hoyer called the announcements  significant steps towards making the legislative branch more open and transparent.

And Hoyer, the number two Democrat in the House, is now calling on the Senate and Library of Congress to follow suit.

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