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Republican House Majority leader Eric Cantor launched the Citizen CoSponsor Project today, a landmark digital application that allows conservative activists to “cosponsor” bills on Facebook, share the activity with their friends, and track legislative progression through Congress.

While other services such as the non-government affiliated govetrack.us and the Library of Congress’ public resource Thomas have enabled web browsers to monitor the congressional process in the past, this is the first time that bill tracking has been integrated directly into the Facebook media matrix.

Cantor said in a press release comprised of text and a YouTube video that he is “dedicated to modernizing the way Congress connects with the American people.”

“It’s simple: cosponsor the bills that you support, we’ll keep you informed, and you’ll be engaged throughout the process. This is about making sure that you are involved, it’s about making sure that more people understand the importance of becoming aware and engaged in the legislative process. Bottom line, we want to make sure that Washington starts to work for you again, and not the other way around.”

[Citizen Cosponsor interface example:]

Cantor refers to The Citizen CoSponsor Project in non-ideological terms, but the project is currently housed on his personal webpage www.majorityleader.gov, and 5 out of 6 bills available for Facebook cosponsoring were authored by Republicans. Because of this, it seems unlikely that this particular model of digital democratic engagement will rise to become more than a partisan tool, but it certainly is a hallmark of the future still yet to come.

(Citizen Cosponsor Project

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Published 20 March, 2012 by Sam Dwyer

Sam Dwyer is an Analyst based in Econsultancy's New York office. He can be followed on Twitter @sammydwyer.

24 more posts from this author

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Nicholas Marshi

Very interesting use of the internet and the harbinger of what's coming: the opportunity to get truly involved in the political process. This may be more cheer leading than game playing but it shows the way...

over 4 years ago

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Patti Whitman

I love this idea. It is great to be invited into the process.

over 4 years ago

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George E. Larney

Great Idea. It will empower the average citizen and be informative to one's Congressman. Hopefully it will spur Congressional representatives to read the bills they vote on before they vote knowing their constituents have also read the bills. This will be a significant way to hold individual Congressman accountable.

over 4 years ago

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Finis H. Brewer Sr.

Sounds, to me, like one of the best acts the house has engaged in in years. We wish you success. I'll be watching and participating.

over 4 years ago

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Kathleen Straube

This is awesome. Thank you

over 4 years ago

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Norm Beres

Finally a relevant application for Facebook that could assist in getting something done on Capitol Hill. Maybe the citizens could cosponsor a bill that if the House, Senate and President can not sign the budget bill on time each year, they receive zero compensation until the budget bill is signed. If the House or Senate passes the bill, they continue to receive our public dole to them, however the House, Senate or President who does not pass the budget bill or vetoes it, forfeits their salary until it is passed. It seems about time that someone on the hill is held accountable.

over 4 years ago

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Judy Van Houten

At first glance, it looks to be good but time will tell.
Support and open, honest communication are extremely important.
Can we trust the people giving us the information??

over 4 years ago

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