Moving from a 20-year-old system to our new, modern Congress.gov platform has many advantages. One of these is that, starting today, email alerts are available on Congress.gov. There are three different types of alerts in this initial release: Member of Congress, legislation, and the Congressional Record. Bill and member alerts were an often-requested feature on THOMAS and I’m excited that we are now able to fulfill those requests in the new system.
You can now get an email alert letting you know that a specific Member of Congress (from the current Congress) has either sponsored or cosponsored legislation. There will be up to one email a day that links to new sponsored and cosponsored bills. I have picked a few members from my home state of Indiana to follow.
The second type of alert, legislation, is one daily email when there is a new summary, text, cosponsor, or action on a particular bill. If you want a quick way to follow a specific piece of legislation that you heard about on the news or one from the top ten list, this new alert will be perfect for you.
The third type of alert lets you know when a new issue of the Congressional Record is available on Congress.gov. This is similar to one of the alerts that was available on THOMAS.
To receive any of these alerts, the first step is to create an account. It’s a quick form where you submit your email so we know where to send the alert and a password so you can modify your alerts.
You could previously use accounts for saved searches.
Sign into your account to subscribe to an alert. Simply find a member or bill that you would like to track, then select “Get alerts.” You will be asked “Receive this alert by email?” Hit confirm and that’s it!
There is also an Alerts Help page with more instructions, including how to cancel alerts. Let us know what you think about the alerts in the comments below or via the feedback form.
Is there any way to get more specificity on the legislation alerts? Could I request to be notified when a bill is ordered to be reported or reported, without receiving updates for amendments?
Also, is there any way to get these updates real time, as opposed to once a day?
Ideally, we would like to be able to subscribe to a particular bill and be notified real time if it has been “approved for full committee action” (marked up out of subcommittee), ordered to be reported by full committee, placed on the calendar, report published, passed one chamber (and the recorded vote count if available), passed a second chamber in different form, or cleared/enrolled.
Great update to the new website. Useful considering most of the very expensive paid tracking services actually collect their information from Congress.gov.
I am sure additions will continue to be made with time, but one enhancement to this latest release would be great. Instead of just providing a general link when new actions are taken on a tracked bill, how about actually putting that information in the alert email? For example, when new cosponsors are added you currently just provide a link back to the website. For many on smartphones this is a delayed extra few steps. Maybe just list the 4 or 5 or however many new cosponsors by name in the email. It is a pretty easy add.
Thank you for the access to “Transparancy”. On my way to opening an account!
Will you be rolling out alerts based on keywords? Would like to be able to track legislation in current congress with just for a particular word or phrase. Thank you
Just wondering if the search algorithms/tips provided always work? I’m trying to get a particular word in my searches of current legislation only, and instead I am getting all kinds of variations on the word (same root) in my results list, even though I did not use a wildcard – why am I getting variations on my word and not just the single word itself in the search results? Thanks
Support Kelly’s idea above. Great one. “Will you be rolling out alerts based on keywords? Would like to be able to track legislation in current congress with just for a particular word or phrase.”
Do you have an email alert that will tell you when a Member (Senator or Representative) changes, and in which state/district? For instance, when someone resigns, when a vacancy is filled, etc.
Having an automated alert would save us from doing a manual comparison of both lists each month. Thank you.
We do not have an alert for when a Member changes. We continue to work to enhance the alerts on Congress.gov. Thank you for sharing this suggestion.