It’s enhancement time for Congress.gov! You have submitted a lot of feedback on how you search on our website, and we have listened. Based on a variety of user comments, we have improved the search interface and streamlined the header.
Rather than just list the details, let’s take a look first.
The new Search Bar is what we used to refer to as the Global Search, which was present on almost every page. The new Search Form was referred to as Quick Search. They are now integrated to provide a more unified experience. All of the previous areas to search in Quick Search are still available in the new Search Form, with the addition of House Communications (which were recently added to Congress.gov in October.)
With this release the header was also streamlined. This brings the content higher on the page and makes what is there easier to read.
The help pages are all now bundled under Support. Select Support for access to the Glossary, Resources, Help, and Contact pages.
For the list of all the updates with this release, visit the Congress.gov Enhancements page:
Enhancement – Search forms integrated with the Congress.gov Homepage
- Search forms previously available from the Quick link for the legislation, legislation text, committee reports, Congressional Record, nominations, Senate communications, and treaty documents data collections are integrated with the Congress.gov homepage, along with a new House Communications search form.
- Users can hide or open the search forms using a “Fewer Options/More Options” toggle.
- When forms are closed, the homepage displays a search bar similar to the previous Homepage Main search function.
New Search Form – Communications to the House
- Includes search fields for: Congress, Record Type, Communication Type, Submitting organization, Federal Rulemaking, Communication Number, Legal Authority, Committee, State or Territory, and the date it was published in the Congressional Record.
Enhancement – Legislation search results
- Lengthy bill titles display in full when viewing search results in Compact view.
Enhancement – Congress.gov Help
- Enhanced Data Anomalies page, in which items with unusual metadata or document texts are listed by collection. For example, there is no issue numbered 22 within Volume 163 (2017) for the Congressional Record.
Please continue to share your feedback! For a recap of changes and the most-viewed bills of 2017, see this post from the end of last year.
Congress.gov continues to get better and is on par with paid subscription services