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Congress.gov Tip, Top, and New for September 2017, Part 2

We continue our new short sprint development cycle for Congress.gov that we started in July and have continued in August and September.  We are now able to bring enhancements to you at a more frequent pace and fix bugs or other issues even quicker.

As I talk to people who train others on Congress.gov, I find that even our trainers continue to learn more and more about the functionality that we have built into the site.  It’s one reason I think it is so important to share our search tips.  As the site has continued to grow over the last five years, it is easy to have missed a new search feature or two.

Search Tip

Adrienne Keys, who was recently interviewed for In Custodia Legis, provides the following tip, Limit Legislative Action Searches by House or Senate:

Congress.gov’s Legislation Advanced Search Form now allows you to limit searches for actions on legislation by either the House or the Senate when you perform a search on words or phrases entered in the “Search in Actions/Status Text” box.

Your search will retrieve legislation acted upon by the chamber selected. Note that your search will retrieve legislation even if the legislation originated in a different chamber (i.e., searching for House actions may retrieve Senate bills on which the House acted).

To use this new feature, try searching for legislation from 1973-present (93rd-115th Congresses) with the phrase “referred sequentially” limited to House-only actions. Then, try a search with the phrase limited to Senate-only actions.

New Enhancements for September 2017

Here are the latest enhancements for September on Congress.gov:

Enhancement – Congressional Record

  • Improved access to Congressional Record collection – including the archive of daily edition issues from the 101st, 102nd and 103rd Congresses that are not searchable but can be browsed by date
  • Links to the 101st, 102nd, and 103rd Congresses added to Congressional Record Browse by Date page dropdown menu
  • Browse by Date menu added to Congressional Record Archive landing page, providing access to non-archived issues from 95th-115th Congresses 

Enhancement – Legislation

  • Latest Action in bill detail page overview boxes and in search results specifies the chamber associated with the particular action

Enhancement – Nominations Search

Top 10

Each week it is nice to see what legislation sparks the interest of constituents.  Here’s the list of the Most-Viewed Bills (which you can subscribe to by RSS or email) for September 24, 2017.

1. H.R.2810 [115th] National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2018
2. H.R.367 [115th] Hearing Protection Act of 2017
3. H.R.3668 [115th] SHARE Act
4. S.1615 [115th] Dream Act of 2017
5. H.R.3732 [115th] Emergency Aid to American Survivors of Hurricanes Irma and Jose Overseas Act
6. H.R.1628 [115th] American Health Care Act of 2017
7. H.R.2359 [115th] FCRA Liability Harmonization Act
8. H.R.392 [115th] Fairness for High-Skilled Immigrants Act of 2017
9. H.R.3354 [115th] Interior and Environment, Agriculture and Rural Development, Commerce, Justice, Science, Financial Services and General Government, Homeland Security, Labor, Health and Human Services, Education, State and Foreign Operations, Transportation, Housing and Urban Development, Defense, Military Construction and Veterans Affairs, Legislative Branch, and Energy and Water Development Appropriations Act, 2018
10. H.R.38 [115th] Concealed Carry Reciprocity Act of 2017

Keep your comments or feedback coming about the website.  Do you have a favorite feature or enhancement that we added over the last five years?  Share that below too.

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