House Republicans Use GovTrack to Read the Bill

that House Republicans are explaining their views on the health care bill by linking people directly to the paragraphs in the bills they find important. I think that’s great. They may be using OpenCongress, but we invented that feature over here on GovTrack — OpenCongress is based on GovTrack — so we’ll take some pride and credit too.

Here’s what Donny wrote:

Here’s a great example of the kind of textually-informed conversations about bills we have been trying to encourage. Republicans in the House of Representatives are extracting chunks of legislative text from the OpenCongress health care bill page (), giving their take and opening them up for discussion. They’re using OpenCongress’ bill text permalinking tool to refer people back to the specific lines of text in the 1,990 page bill that they’re talking about.Check it out —

They’re using a service called that lets you “clip, share and discuss interesting things you read on the web.” It integrates with Twitter, Facebook and other social networking sites.

I just set up an account quickly and was able to leave a comment on one of

. Then I was able to easily . The whole process is open, transparent and social.

Having the links back to the exact portion of the bill under discussion make it engaging. It’s easy to be disingenuous about legislation by making a false claim and backing it up with a line of text taken out of context. That’s basically how the “death panel” myth was spread over the summer. But providing a link to the specific line within the bill invites people to look it up for themselves, read it in context and make their own judgement.


. They’re putting up several new posts per hour.