This has been an exciting and successful year for Congress.gov. We accomplished a major milestone when we retired THOMAS in July. Over the course of 2016, we completed a number of enhancements to Congress.gov. In April we expanded quick search to include the Congressional Record, Committee Reports, Nominations, Treaty Documents, and Communications.
In May we launched several new RSS feeds and email alerts and added saved search email alerts soon after in June. This is a feature that was never available on THOMAS. Also added in June was a powerful new advanced search for legislation. This search form provides greater access to the underlying data than was available on THOMAS. The September release added new nomination alerts and provided more consistency across the site.
With today’s update we have added additional items that users have requested. We frequently get questions on how to contact your member of Congress. There is now a prominent section for contacting your member. Another addition is the Recent section circled below. The first link for Yesterday in Congress was a favorite on THOMAS that users missed.
Occasionally, we receive requests for a function that is already available on Congress.gov. There is now a featured Search Tip to share and highlight such items. You can also subscribe to search tips from the RSS and Email Alerts page.
New Congress.gov Homepage with Recent, Contact Your Member, and Search Tips
Also included in this set of enhancements is the ability to subscribe to an Appropriations Table email from that same RSS and Email Alerts page.
RSS and Email Alerts now with Appropriations Tables Email
See Congress.gov Enhancements for the complete rundown of this release. The page also provides a nice overview of all the enhancements since the site’s launch back in September 2012.
Enhancements – Homepage Links:
- New “Recent” set of links for “Current Legislative Activities”
- “Yesterday in Congress”
- “Bill Texts” received today
- “Calendars and Schedules”
- “Presented to President”
Enhancements – Alerts and Saved Searches:
- Subscribe to appropriations update email alerts from RSS and Email Alerts
- Edit an existing saved search title
Enhancements – Legislation:
Congressional Record Year and Volume Facet
Enhancements – Congressional Record:
Enhancements – Committee Reports:
Enhancements – Legislation Advanced Search Guided Form:
- Collapse sections of the search form
- Your Selections displays Subjects, Actions, Sponsors, Cosponsors, and Committees
- Date of Introduction search
Legislation Advanced Search Date of Introduction
What other enhancements would you like to see on Congress.gov? Leave comments below or share feedback via our survey.
And if you would like to learn more about how to use the system, register for our next Congress.gov webinar on Thursday, November 10 from 2:00 PM – 3:00 PM EST.
The following is a guest post by Alison M. Trulock, an archival specialist in the Office of Art and Archives within the Office of the Clerk of the U.S. House of Representatives. In October 2016, the Clerk’s Office of the U.S. House of Representatives launched Records Search on the History, Art & Archives website. The website is a […]
I expect almost everyone who works at the Library of Congress can tell you the year in which the Library was established – if not the exact date. The Library is the oldest cultural institution in the United States. Its establishment dates back to April 24, 1800 when President John Adams signed a law that […]
I have always liked the month of September. It seems a time of new beginnings, the old back to school excitement and energy, more temperate weather (e.g., “a season of mists and mellow fruitfulness“). But here in the nation’s capital, September is also a month of endings. The end of September marks the end of […]
Washington, D.C. can get quite miserable during the summer heat. Rather than sweating outside, we like to channel our frustration with the weather by updating Congress.gov and sharing related news during the August recess. This continues a tradition that started with THOMAS back in 2010; and continued with our sharing popular items in 2011; introducing Congress.gov in […]
This post is coauthored by Barbara Bavis, instructional librarian, and Robert Brammer, senior legal reference specialist The First Amendment to the United States Constitution states: Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people […]
A version of the following article originally appeared in the July 1, 2016, edition of Library of Congress staff newsletter, The Gazette. THOMAS, which launched with great fanfare on January 5, 1995, twenty-one and a half years ago, is nearing its retirement on July 5, 2016. Back when it launched, then-Librarian of Congress James H. […]
There is frequent discussion and debate about U.S. campaign finance laws and the increasing amounts spent by candidates running for the U.S. Congress. Certain aspects of campaign finance regulation have been the subject of judicial review by the Supreme Court. How do other countries approach the complex task of regulating campaign contributions and spending? This […]
Today Congress.gov continues to be enhanced with the addition of a new Advanced Search Guided Form, a more web-friendly version of the Congressional Record Daily Digest, new and updated browse reports, and more. Since announcing the July 5 retirement of THOMAS, we have added several new RSS feeds and email alerts including saved search email alerts. These […]
After announcing legislation, Members of Congress, and the Congressional Record email alerts last year, I began to see requests for saved search email alerts. This is a feature that was not available on THOMAS that we are excited to now offer on Congress.gov. How do you get the new Saved Search Alerts? Do you have a Congress.gov […]