{ subscribe_url: '/share/sites/library-of-congress-blogs/law.php' }

Time to Turn off THOMAS: July 5, 2016

One of my favorite THOMAS related posts was of the THOMAS Starting Point, which featured the homepage of the site when it launched on January 5, 1995.  It seems only fitting to share the photo from the post while announcing the THOMAS Ending Point of July 5, 2016.

THOMAS Starting PointI have talked frequently about THOMAS on In Custodia Legis since the first week of this blog in August 2010 when I shared the Top Weekly Bills in THOMAS.  Also during that month there were posts on what Congress is sending the president, tweeting THOMAS, and its revamp during the recess.

On September 19, 2012 we introduced Congress.gov and mentioned that it “marks the first public announcement of the eventual end of THOMAS.”  And from that time on, the focus has been on making Congress.gov into a full-fledged replacement. We continued making significant enhancements approximately each quarter and removed the beta label in September 2014.  Congress.gov is the system that we wished THOMAS could be, but could not because of its older, fragile infrastructure.

There are great Congress.gov features like responsive design (which means it adapts to the device you are using), facets to refine your search results, member and legislation email alerts, status of legislation tracker, and member pages.  All of these features were unavailable on THOMAS.

And where we are now is just the beginning.  Congress.gov has also gained recognition as a Webby honoree in the best practices for the web category and was listed on GovLoop’s list of 20 Innovations that Mattered in 2013.  We have plans to continue to leverage our new platform to bring together U.S. legislative content in ways that were not possible with THOMAS.  We are retiring a twenty-one year old website and replacing it with a more modern, robust site with an agile development plan in place.

Let the countdown begin until THOMAS retires to Monticello on July 5, 2016.congressdotgov-plain-2016

Congress.gov Spring Cleaning: Expanded Quick Search

Over the last several months, we have added a variety of enhancements to Congress.gov.  It began with the Communications in October, the Congressional Record Index in December, and the XML Bulk Data via GPO in February.  Today’s update focuses on expanding Quick Search on Congress.gov. When the Quick Search on Congress.gov first launched in December 2015, […]

The Congress.gov Top 15 in 2015

Another year, another list of legislation! After 13 in 2013 and 14 in 2014, it is time for the 15 most-viewed items in 2015 on Congress.gov. H.R.213 [114th] Fairness for High-Skilled Immigrants Act of 2015 H.R.1599 [114th] Safe and Accurate Food Labeling Act of 2015 H.R.1735 [114th] National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2016 […]

New End of Year Congress.gov Enhancements: Quick Search, Congressional Record Index, and More

In our quest to retire THOMAS, we have made many enhancements to Congress.gov this year.  Our first big announcement was the addition of email alerts, which notify users of the status of legislation, new issues of the Congressional Record, and when Members of Congress sponsor and cosponsor legislation.  That development was soon followed by the addition of treaty documents and better […]

Now over 1,000,000 Items to Search on Congress.gov: Communications and More Added

This has been a great year as we continue our push to develop and refine Congress.gov.  There were email alerts added in February, treaties and better default text in March, the Federalist Papers and more browse options in May, and accessibility and user requested features in July.  With this October update, Senate Executive Communications from […]

New Features Added to Congress.gov Based On Your Feedback

Since the unveiling of Congress.gov in September of 2012, we have been constantly adding new features with each release, and many of the features in this release are based directly on your feedback. Accessibility We want to make Congress.gov more accessible, and our new feature, “Listen,” helps us deliver on this goal. Listen appears on […]

THOMAS to Congress.gov: Gap Analysis and User Testing

With each release of Congress.gov, THOMAS is one step closer to retiring to Monticello.  Tina has recently joined the Congress.gov team and has been working on a gap analysis between the two systems.  She is identifying items such as the Senate Executive Communications and Congressional Record Index that exist only on THOMAS as things to […]

Congress.gov Continues…

So far, 2015 has been a great year for Congress.gov.  First, we launched email alerts in February. Then, we added treaty documents and more in March.  With today’s update, improvements have been made to search (results, command line and advanced), alerts, browse, and accessibility. The Federalist Papers have remained a perennially popular item on THOMAS with […]

Treaties, Text, and Timely Updates – Congress.gov Spring Cleaning

Since introducing Congress.gov in September 2012, we have continued to add the databases from THOMAS to the new system.  We launched with legislation, followed soon thereafter by the Congressional Record, Committee Reports, and nominations.  Today, we are releasing treaty documents.  You can select “All Sources” and search across all of these data sets at once, something […]