In March, I devoted a post to information about the work various staff members at the Library of Congress do for Congress.gov. The post included contributions from Office of the Chief Information Officer (OCIO) and Law Library staff and, at the time, I promised we would have a second post with information about the work our colleagues in the Congressional Research Service (CRS) do for Congress.gov. Here is that post.
Brandon Toth came to CRS in 2019 after several years working on public policy and issue advocacy in the nonprofit sector, he provides bill analysis for the Legislative Analysis Services Section:
As a CRS legislative analyst I interpret and summarize legislation at various stages of the legislative process. The bill summaries I write within my areas of expertise must be guided by the bill’s text but also readily understood by a wide public audience. Our team of analysts also enhance the legislative data available on Congress.gov by determining relationships between measures and classifying measures by policy area.
Jennifer Manning has been a CRS librarian for 31 years and teaches congressional staff about congressional documents. I have always enjoyed my interactions with her and very much appreciate her insights at our meetings on Congress.gov:
Working with the Congress.gov team has given me great insight into the complexity of our legislative process. There are a lot of expert, dedicated people across the Hill working with a lot of moving parts, all trying to meet the needs of different users with tight deadlines, without eroding the authenticity of the data.
Kimberly Ferguson has been part of the Library’s Congress.gov project for 12 years, and has provided training and help desk support for predecessor systems since the early 1990s:
My role is to lead a team of CRS legislative process and congressional data SMEs (subject matter experts) to serve our House, Senate, GPO, and CBO data partners. Our Congress.gov team is responsible for managing the exchange of data among legislative branch agencies. We are extremely interested in widespread adoption of legislative data standards because our workflows have lots of data dependencies. The advancements in access to data since my first librarian job for Congress, in the early 1990s, is astounding. Being a part of the team responsible for making Congress.gov available to Congress is on par with winning the lottery. Great partnerships with legislative clerks, parliamentarians, and technology experts in the House, Senate, GPO, and CBO enable our team to deliver more-and-more accurate and transparent congressional data.
Elizabeth is relatively new to CRS, having just finished her first year. She is a data analyst, working on the Congress.gov website:
My role as a data analyst on Congress.gov allows me to work with a team of amazingly talented people who maintain and enhance the country’s repository of congressional data, and work behind the scenes to help the librarians and researchers on the front lines serving Congress directly. Our work seeks to ensure the Congress.gov website both functions as expected and provides the information needed in a way users can understand. Any given day presents a variety of tasks: data analysis, quality control and troubleshooting, workflow development, and customer service, and contributing to special projects.
The June 2022 Congress.gov release is a behind-the-scenes improvement of infrastructure that helps the site’s functionality.
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