Today’s post is one that I have been very excited to write for some time now. My favorite posts involve talking about tweaking, tweeting, revamping, or updating THOMAS.gov. Today marks the launch of the biggest project that I have been a part of in my professional career. Today is the launch of Congress.gov, a new resource for United States legislative information.
Congress.gov is the foundation for all of the big changes we dreamed of making to THOMAS but couldn’t because of the older, fragile infrastructure. You can now search across all of the content in the system (as of the launch, this includes bill text, summary and status, and Member profiles), refine your results, quickly see the status of a bill on a timeline, and view the new Member pages with legislation sponsored and cosponsored
. It is also designed to dynamically fit the size screen you are using, which is very helpful if you are like me and will look at Congress.gov on a monitor, tablet, and phone.
I want to give a special thank you to Tammie who has served as the project manager over the last year. It wouldn’t have been possible to get this much done in this short period of time without her continuously pushing us forward. I’m hoping to interview several of the other great people who helped make this dream project a reality over the next few months as well as provide posts about using the new system.
This project will be ongoing; we will be incorporating additional content to Congress.gov (with the Congressional Record up next) in batches over the next year. Today also marks the first public announcement of the eventual end of THOMAS. It isn’t going away today or tomorrow, but sometime in the next year. It won’t fade away to Monticello until we have migrated content from it to Congress.gov and officially retire the beta.
We will continue to use @THOMASdotgov to tweet about legislation and what is happening in Congress but will shift the focus to Congress.gov. Eventually the Twitter account might get a new name too. If you would like to tell us what you think about the new site, please send a tweet our way, using the hashtag #Congressdotgov.
Stay tuned. Today’s launch is only the beginning as we continue to work on enhancing Congress.gov and informing democracy.