Eric Cantor (R Virginia) has launched a new website, Cosponsor, where citizens can “cosponsor” congressional legislation with one click — two if they allow the site to connect with their Facebook accounts. All new legislation brought to the floor of the house is listed, with information on the sponsors of the bill and its progress through the House. Visitors can search for a specific bill, click through to bills on particular issues such as Science and Technology or Education, or sort the bills y popularity and other factors.
The most popular bill at Cosponsor right now? The Puerto Rico Status Resolutions Act.
The “Citizen Cosponsor Project” is intended to increase citizen awareness of legislation and to increase citizen involvement. Some commentators have suggested that it is also intended to improve the dismal (21%) approval rating of Congress. Both goals seem laudable. The text of the bill is not included, not is there a link to the full text of any bill, but the information provided is shown in a clear, graphic form that should be easy for all citizens to grasp.
HR 2000, the Puerto Rico Status Resolution Act, is by far the most popular legislation at the moment, its 1,129 Citizen Sponsors give it 25% more supporters than the Fair Tax Act and more than twice as many than any other piece of legislation listed. The site has been up for less than a week, so there will doubtless be changes as it evolves, but one conclusion can be drawn.
The idea that the average American is opposed to Puerto Rico’s statehood is false. Even if we assume that most visitors to the site at this point are Republicans, we are still seeing an impressive level of support for the bill among visitors to the website.