(TNS) -- North Country Congresswoman Elise Stefanik is sponsoring a bill that would allow people to better follow the progress of legislation as it winds its way through the legislature.
Stefanik (R-Willsboro) introduced the Establishing Digital Interactive Transparency (EDIT) Act, which would instruct the Library of Congress to open up the legislative process by implementing a track-changes-style system for Congress.gov.
"One of my most important commitments to families across the North Country is to be accessible and transparent," Stefanik said in a news release.
"As lawmakers, we must work to give our constituents more access to the work they send us here to do. That is why I have introduced the EDIT Act, commonsense legislation that will allow the American public to see at what stage in the process changes are made to legislation they are following."
The legislation instructs the librarian of the Library of Congress to ensure that each version of a bill or resolution that is made available on Congress.gov is presented in a manner that permits the viewer to follow and track online, within the same document, any changes made from previous versions of the bill or resolution.
"We live in an age of limitless information and technology that is never further than your pocket," Stefanik said
"We should use these tools to provide the American people more open, transparent access to our work in Congress."
Stefanik's opponents in this year's election in the 12-county 21st District were not impressed.
Green Party candidate Matt Funiciello said Stefanik would do better if she favored transparency on more pressing issues, such as trade.
"While I am, of course, in favor of more transparent representation, I can only see it as ironic that Elise Stefanik would vote as if she is for transparency of any kind when she so proudly voted for Obama's Trade Priorities Accountability Act (HR1314)," Funiciello said.
"A questionable piece of legislation, at best, it allowed the president 'fast track' authority (which many believe to be completely unconstitutional) to negotiate the TPP (Trans-Pacific Partnership) and TTIP (Transatlantic Investment Partnership). These fake free-trade deals are the final nails in the coffin of the American middle class."
Funiciello said bad trade deals have caused the loss of about 9 million American jobs in the past two decades and that Congress and Stefanik need to change their ways.
"Pretending to stand for transparency when your record shows otherwise is not the behavior I expect from a representative of the people," Funiciello said.
"It is what I fully expect from someone representing multi-national corporations, though."
Democratic Party candidate Mike Derrick said Stefanik is flip-flopping on transparency.
"Just this week, she voted for HR 5053, a bill that reduces transparency and opens the door to illegal foreign political contributions," he said.
"Once again, she sided with the failed congressional leadership and special interests, and not the voters of this district who clearly want to reduce the influence of money in politics."
Derrick also questioned Stefanik's commitment to transparency, saying that she did not update her website for three months earlier this year.
"Congresswoman Stefanik fooled North Country voters once, but she's not going to fool them twice," Derrick said.
"This is yet another effort of hers to disguise her voting record and deceive voters. What Elise Stefanik says is not what Elise Stefanik actually does."
©2016 the Press-Republican (Plattsburgh, N.Y.) Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.