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Congress.gov Continues to Grow: Committee Pages, Reports, & More Added!

In less than two months, Congress.gov will reach its first birthday! During the last ten months, we launched Congress.gov, added the Congressional Record in January, and upgraded from Major Actions to All Actions in April.

Today marks the next wave of enhancements! And there are several.  Those watching our @LawLibCongress Twitter account closely got to see a sneak preview of today’s update on July 16.  I tweeted images of the following new features: Committee Reports, Standing Committees, “Search within results” (a feature I’m very excited to see), and more content that Tammie mentioned during her presentation at the AALL Annual Conference.

A few other highlights not tweeted include field searching (see below for a list of fields to use for searching) and sorting search results (see the list to the right). Previously, search results were only listed by relevancy.

A link to the Glossary was also added across the top of the Congress.gov navigation.  Users really like the Glossary but occasionally had trouble finding it.

Now it should be easier to get to from this additional location.

Jeanine has provided a much more comprehensive list of the latest enhancements for this release on the About Congress.gov page:

July 2013 Release

Committee Reports (New)

  • Committee Reports were added and date back to 1995 with the beginning of the 104th Congress. (There’s also an About Committee Reports page.)
  • Committee Reports are available for global search with facets for Congress, Chamber, and Committee.
  • A Committee Reports landing page provides an overview section with a report-lookup tool sorted by report type and citation number.
  • The search result listing appears in the lower half of the landing page and offers faceted searching options targeted to Committee Reports, including a report type facet, and a conference report facet.
  • Committee Report detail pages display single and multi-part reports with sidebars that include links to related reports, a link to the Committee Reports landing page, and a list of other bills referenced in the report.
  • Navigational display option is available for multiple-part reports and provides links to PDF versions of the report.

NOTE:  Executive reports are not included in this release but will appear when treaty data is imported in a future release.

Committee Pages (New)

  • A new Standing Committees landing page is available, listing general information about standing committees.
  • All House and Senate standing committees for the current Congress are available with links to specific Committee pages.
  • Each standing committee page includes an overview section which lists legislation recently considered by the committee, as well as links to meeting schedules, live video (House committees only), and the official committee website.
  • A search result listing in the lower half of the page provides faceted searching options targeted to legislation and reports associated with the relevant committee.

Enhancements to the Legislative and Amendment Detail Pages:

  • Timestamps are now displayed for those actions for which we receive a timestamp from the chamber.
  • Bill summary text now includes embedded links. 
  • The listing of Committee Report articles on the text tab of the amendment detail page was enhanced to more precisely guide the user to the correct page in the Congressional Record on which the amendment text appears.
  • Data missing messages have been tweaked on the amendment detail page to better reflect the difference between Senate and House amendment procedures.  The title of the bill being amended has been added to the overview.  The amendments-to-this-amendment tab no longer displays when there are zero results for this tab.

Enhancements to the Congressional Record pages:

  • Embedded links to the Congressional Record (via page and page range links) are available and complete; this process began with the April release and improvements made during this release completed the task.
  • Inactive dates are no longer clickable in the Congressional Record year/page selector.

General improvements to the site (among others):

  • Sorting of search results is available; the results can be sorted by date, document number, or title.
  • Search within results is available, allowing users the ability to add multiple search terms to an already faceted result set.
  • Limited boolean and field search is available through the global search box.
  • Legislative glossary is now linked from the header.

I’ve heard from a lot of users that they were excited for Committee Reports to be added to the new site.  I’ve very happy that they are now available.  What would you like to see us add next?

Update: Beginning in November, THOMAS.gov will automatically redirect to Congress.gov.
@THOMASdotgov Twitter followers will be transferred to a new Congress.gov Twitter account.

Congress.gov online trainings are available Sept. 19, Oct. 17 and Nov. 14.  Complete this form to register.  THOMAS.gov will remain accessible from the Congress.gov homepage through late 2014.

One Comment

  1. Hon AdeDayo Ariyo
    August 2, 2013 at 5:52 pm

    Am Really Impressed & Excited About the Latest Updates & Developments in the House.
    More Success to Our House- U.S. HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES.

    Best Regards.

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