Eric Cantor wants Washington to operate more like an app and less like a dinosaur.
Appearing at a star-studded "Creativity Conference" in Washington Friday, a day before the White House Correspondents' Dinner, the House majority leader and GOP Virginia congressman urged more creativity in the political process.
"Government should provide a platform for creativity," said Cantor, pulling out his iPhone to demonstrate what a successful app looks like. "There is a desperate need for creativity here in Washington. ... This place is a treasure trove of information that's just, in many instances, sitting idle." Cantor said better public access to government data was the only way to change that fact.
"If we can put hoses up to some of these dinosaur agency and buildings in this town and allow the creativity to apply to all this data, I think you would be amazed at the solutions and innovations that could occur," he said.
For his part, Cantor unveiled a platform in 2012 called "Citizen Cosponsor," which allows constituents to follow legislation throughout the political process. He also joined House Speaker John Boehner in 2011 in prodding the House clerk to put legislative documents online for the first time.
Cantor spoke at the Creativity Conference at the Corcoran Gallery in Washington ahead of speeches by film mogul Harvey Weinstein, HBO CEO Richard Plepler and former President Bill Clinton.
The event is the brainchild of the Motion Picture Association and hosted along with TIME magazine and Microsoft, and happened just as Google and Bloomberg put on a competing "Big Tent" panel at the nearby W Hotel on free speech in the digital age.