Congress.gov Adds New Features

Congress.gov Adds New Features

From the post:

  • User Accounts & Saved Searches: Users have the option of creating a private account that lets them save their personal searches. The feature gives users a quick and easy index from which to re-run their searches for new and updated information.
  • Congressional Record Search-by-Speaker: New metadata has been added to the Congressional Record that enables searching the daily transcript of congressional floor action by member name from 2009 – present. The member profile pages now also feature a link that returns a list of all Congressional Record articles in which that member was speaking.
  • Nominations: Users can track presidential nominees from appointment to hearing to floor votes with the new nominations function. The data goes back to 1981 and features faceted search, like the rest of Congress.gov, so users can narrow their searches by congressional session, type of nomination and status.

Other updates include expanded “About” and “Frequently Asked Questions” sections and the addition of committee referral and committee reports to bill-search results.

The Congress.gov website describes itself as:

Congress.gov is the official source for federal legislative information. A collaboration among the Library of Congress, the U.S. Senate, the U.S. House of Representatives and the Government Printing Office, Congress.gov is a free resource that provides searchable access to bill status and summary, bill text, member profiles, the Congressional Record, committee reports, direct links from bills to cost estimates from the Congressional Budget Office, legislative process videos, committee profile pages and historic access reaching back to the 103rd Congress.

Before you get too excited, the 103rd Congress was in session 1993-1994. A considerable amount of material but far from complete.

The utility of topic maps is easy to demonstrate with the increased easy of tracking presidential nominations.

Rather than just tracking a bald nomination, wouldn’t it be handy to have all the political donations made by the nominee from the FEC? Or for that matter, their “friend” graph that shows their relationships with members of the president’s insider group?

All of that is easy enough to find, but then every searcher has to find the same information. If it were found and presented with the nominee, then other users would not have to work to re-find the information.

Yes?

http://www.congress.gov/

I first saw this in New Features Added to Congress.gov by Africa S. Hands.

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