Where taxpayers pay ($100 million a year) but interest groups benefit

It seemed like a silly question, but as the new guy, I was obliged to ask: “Can I e-mail a copy of my report to my mother?”

Mom had been a local reporter when I was a kid and worked for a county government in Ohio. She has always had a bottomless appetite for politics and government, and her retirement years afforded plenty of time to read. I figured she would find my first Congressional Research Service report interesting. I also thought she would be proud to see her son published by such a prestigious organization.

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REPORT: Most federal advisory committee meetings now held in secret

When federal agencies make grants or design new regulations, they often rely on panels of experts — including industry representatives — for counsel. But knowing precisely what these government-created advisory committees are pushing has been shrouded in secrecy: A new congressional report shows that most of the committee meetings are now held behind closed doors.

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