Tester’s Public Schedule Legislation Would Require All Members of Congress to Post Daily Public Schedules Online As He Does
Senator’s legislation requires members of Congress to post their daily public schedule including events, and virtual and in-person meetings online
(U.S. Senate) — As a part of his continued effort to increase transparency and accountability in Congress, U.S. Senator Jon Tester is set to reintroduce legislation to require Members of Congress to post their daily schedules online, including all events and meetings attended in their official capacity. Tester was the first, and remains one of the only, Members of Congress to publicly post his schedule on his website starting in 2007.
“Montanans elected me to represent their interests, and that means keeping them informed about who I’m meeting with, what I’m working on, and where I’m spending my time as Montana’s senior Senator,” said Tester. “That’s why I started posting my public schedule back in 2007, and it’s why I’ve kept it updated to this day — and I hope my colleagues will follow suit. If we want to inject some real transparency into our government, we’ve got to start holding Members of Congress accountable and this bill is a step in the right direction.”
“Montanans and Americans deserve a Congress that works for them, not special interest donors and big corporations. That’s why it’s critical constituents know who their elected officials are meeting with,” said Tiffany Muller, president of End Citizens United Action Fund. “Senator Tester is leading by example – he was the first member of Congress to regularly post his schedule online, and remains one of the few to do so today. We appreciate his tireless commitment to increased transparency and accountability in government and hope that other elected officials will join in supporting this commonsense legislation.”
“Senator Tester is a champion of government accountability and transparency, and we appreciate his leadership in introducing a resolution to require Members of Congress to post their schedule online every day. This resolution would help voters see who is working for them – and who is working for wealthy special interests,” said Aaron Scherb, Senior Director of Legislative Affairs at Common Cause. “Creating a more ethical and representative democracy starts by giving constituents more information, shining a light on secret money’s attempt to influence our leaders, and ensuring that members are using their official time to work for the people who voted them into office. We look forward to working with Senator Tester to ensure that all Members of Congress are held to the highest standards.”
“Americans deserve to know with certainty that the people that they elect to represent them in government are serving their interests, rather than the interests of the powerful and the well connected,” said Noah Bookbinder, President of Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW). “The Transparency in Congress Resolution will shine a light on who members choose to meet with while in office, and bring accountability and transparency to an institution that too often operates in the dark. We applaud Senator Tester for his work to build an open and accountable government and encourage Congress to pass this resolution as expeditiously as possible.”
“The Transparency in Congress Resolution serves an important purpose, it provides the public with information about how members spend their official time and who is trying to influence Congress,” said Craig Holman, Ph.D., of Public Citizen. “Requiring members to post their public schedule will help ensure that members are working on behalf of their constituents, not corporate and special interests. We thank Senator Tester for introducing this legislation and taking this common sense step to improve transparency in Congress.”
There are currently no requirements for Members of Congress to disclose when they meet with constituents, lobbyists, or other groups in their official, taxpayer-funded positions. Tester’s Transparency in Congress Resolution, requires members of Congress to publish their daily public schedules. The schedule must be posted online by the last day of each month and include:
- Each hearing, meeting, or event the Member attended in their official capacity, either in person or by teleconference or other electronic means;
- The Member’s floor activity; and
- A general description of the individuals, entities, or organization participating in the meeting or event, or a general description of the meeting or event.
Tester already goes above and beyond his bill’s requirements by posting his public schedule daily.
Tester was the first Member of Congress to publicly post his schedule on his website starting in 2007 during his first term in the Senate. The first two bills that the Senator introduced this Congress were aimed at getting dark money out of politics and overturning the Supreme Court’s Citizens United decision. He also supported legislation to ban stock trading in Congress to further boost the accountability of Members of Congress.
Tester’s public schedule can be found HERE.
You can read the text of Tester’s Transparency in Congress Resolution HERE.