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Congress.gov New, Tip, and Top for April 2018

Today, we’re bringing you the latest Congress.gov updates just in time for the arrival of spring.  Last month, Andrew brought you the latest updates to saved search alert functionality.  For the April release, we have improved the sorting of search results, so that items in the current Congress now appear at the top when sorting by relevancy.

Our work on committee authority records also continues in this release. The profile pages of inactive committees now indicate that a committee’s status is terminated and the years when the committee was active. Please see the full list of enhancements included in this release, listed below.

New Enhancements for April 2018

A list of all of the updates are available from Congress.gov Enhancements:

Enhancement – Committee Authority Project – Phase 3

The Committee Authority Project is a multi-phase project to improve access to committee information.

Enhancement – House Communications

  • Find specific House Communications that have a relationship to a specific House Document when you use the “House Document Title or Number” search limiter.
  • Example – Retrieve 115PM8, which has a relationship to 115#H.Doc.3.

Enhancement – Improved mobile view for browse reports

  • Congress.gov browse report pages that display information in multi-column tables now have scroll bars, enabling mobile device users to navigate content more easily.
  • Example – Legislation with Actions Related to Committees browse report has a scrollbar at the bottom of the page that allows users to scroll to the right.

Enhancement – Search results sort by Congress descending

  • Items in the current Congress appear at the top of the list when sorting by relevancy.
  • Applies to searches of all collections available from Congress.gov, and search results returned by any Congress.gov search form.
  • Example – The results list for a search for H.R.4465 in any Congress displays 115th Congress measures first.

Enhancements – Search form picklists – Congressional Record and Committee Reports

  • From the Congressional Record search form, users can select multiple Members in each of the House and Senate Members Remarks picklists.
  • From the Committee Reports search form, users can select multiple committees from each of the House, Senate and Joint Committees picklists.
  • Both search forms default to combine multiple picklist selections with an OR search operator.

Search Tip

Adrienne recently shared the following tip, Printing Multiple Pages of Search Results 

Printing multiple pages of Congress.gov search results? These tips will help you generate the material you need in your choice of two formats.

1. When you want to print multiple pages of search results as they display on your computer screen, select the Print button in the right navigation. For best results, use the Chrome web browser. Other popular browsers such as Internet Explorer and Firefox print just one page even when multiple pages of search results are present.

Printing multiple pages of Congress.gov search results. Photo by Adrienne Keys.

Printing multiple pages of Congress.gov search results. Photo by Adrienne Keys.

2. Another option is to use the Download Results feature to export up to 1000 search results to a printable spreadsheet. After performing a search, select the Download Results option above the left navigation on the search results page. Data visible in the expanded search results view, plus a link to each item, will download to a CSV file, which you can choose to open with a program such as Excel. This option works well across popular web browsers.

Downloading search results on Congress.gov. Photo by Adrienne Keys.

Downloading search results on Congress.gov. Photo by Adrienne Keys.

The Download Results link is available on search results displays for each Congress.gov data collection except Legislation Text. The link is also not yet available in search results displays after searching across collections. For more information, see the Download Results Help page.

Top 10

The Most-Viewed Bills for March 25, 2018 all are from the 115th Congress.

1. H.R.1865 Allow States and Victims to Fight Online Sex Trafficking Act of 2017
2. H.R.5087 Assault Weapons Ban of 2018
3. H.R.1625 Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2018
4. H.R.1 An Act to provide for reconciliation pursuant to titles II and V of the concurrent resolution on the budget for fiscal year 2018.
5. S.1571 Read the Bills Act
6. H.R.4909 STOP School Violence Act of 2018
7. H.R.5103 Gun Violence Prevention and Safe Communities Act of 2018
8. H.R.38 Concealed Carry Reciprocity Act of 2017
9. S.2155 Economic Growth, Regulatory Relief, and Consumer Protection Act
10. H.R.535 Taiwan Travel Act

Please be sure to submit feedback or leave a comment below about features you would like to see included in Congress.gov.

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