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How To Download Your Congress.gov Search Results

With the recent update to Congress.gov, you can now download your search results in a comma-separated value (CSV) file.  This is a feature that I have heard users request almost as long as they have requested email alerts for legislation.

We have limited the number of search results that you can download from a single collection to 500.  Hopefully, if you are doing a targeted search with a few filters, this will be more than enough.  Our goal is to roll this out in a way that does not impact the performance of the rest of the website.

For this example, I started by clicking the magnifying glass after the main search box on Congress.gov to run a blank search.  This shows thousands of results, which includes all legislation from the current congress.  Then I expanded the filter “Status of Legislation” on the left side of the results and selected “Became Law.”

That brought us to the search results below.  Next to the “Save this Search” link, there is a new link to “Download Results.”

"Download Results"

“Download Results” is now an option when running a search in a single collection.

After selecting “Download Results,” a pop up asking “Download these search results?” appears.  It also warns you that only your first 500 results will be downloaded as a CSV file.  So, you might want to use a filter or two to limit the results set–if you start with a high number like I initially did.  

Select “OK” and the file will download.  You can then open it and see results similar to these:

Download Results CSV File

Download Results CSV File

If you don’t have any amendments (like I don’t here), you can delete the empty columns H, I, and J.

If you do this over time, you will see how a specific set of search results might change.  In this particular sample search, there are now several more items that have become public law since I first download the search results.

Thanks for all the feedback, as it continues to help us make Congress.gov better. Please keep it coming!

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