House bill would open up taxpayer-funded research

Last year, similar legislation was introduced by Sens. Joe Lieberman (I-Conn.) and John CornynJohn CornynCongress should ban life without parole sentences for children  Senate GOP discussing Mueller vote Grassley: McConnell owes me for judicial nominations MORE (R-Texas) that would require online access to unclassified research funded with tax-payer dollars from agencies including Department of Agriculture, Department of Commerce and Department of Defense. NASA, the National Science Foundation and Environmental Protection Agency also fall under the requirements.

A number of research universities wrote a letter of support of the proposal.

"The broad dissemination of the results of scholarly inquiry and discourse is essential for higher education to fulfill its long-standing commitment to the advancement and conveyance of knowledge," wrote the authors from Princeton, Stanford, Cornell, Carnegie Mellon, Ohio State and Syracuse universities, among others.

"The Internet and digital technology are powerful tools for removing access barriers and enabling new and creative uses of the results of research," they wrote.

House Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman Henry Waxman (D-Calif.) is a co-sponsor, as is Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Communications, Technology and the Internet Chairman Rick Boucher (D-Va.). The bill was introduced last week.