Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-VA) has scheduled the Digital Accountability and Transparency Act to be considered for final House passage on Monday, April 28. By placing the DATA Act on the suspension calendar, the Majority Leader has formally indicated that he will bring the same bill that passed the Senate on April 10th without amendment for the House’s final seal of approval.
By the time the sponsors and implementers of the DATA Act gather at the Data Transparency Summit this Tuesday, the bill should be on President Obama’s desk.
The House has passed stronger versions of the DATA Act twice already, but those versions have not cleared the Senate. It now appears certain that the final version of the historic open government legislation will emerge Monday after three years on Capitol Hill.
The White House has been silent on whether President Obama will sign the DATA Act, despite the fact that it pursues the same principles of data standardization and publication that are endorsed in his May 2013 Open Data Policy. The DATA Act mandates the adoption of those principles with the force of law across the whole landscape of federal spending.
But given that the DATA Act earned the unanimous consent of the Democratic-controlled Senate, it is unlikely that President Obama will veto it.
Tuesday’s summit participants include Dick Ginman, chair of President Obama’s Government Accountability and Transparency Board, which the President established in June 2011 to advise his administration on how to reorganize the way the government collects, uses, and publishes its spending information. We will also welcome Christina Ho, executive director for data transparency at the Treasury Department, who is set to lead DATA Act implementation at the Treasury Department.
With passage and signature of the DATA Act, the Coalition will shift the focus of its advocacy from Congress to the executive branch. We will seek to persuade Treasury and the White House OMB to adopt robust, comprehensive, and nonproprietary standards under the DATA mandate and assist all agencies to put them in place.