Last month, Margaret highlighted the Congress.gov work of four of our colleagues in the Congressional Research Service (CRS). Just a year ago she announced the big news that we added 30,000 bills and resolutions from 1799-1873 to Congress.gov as part of our goal to expand the historical content on the site.
The Congress.gov team continuously receives feedback on ways to improve the site. We receive feedback across a variety of channels, such as comments to this blog, tweets to @Congressdotgov, from the Congress.gov webinars, the virtual public forums we have hosted, and most frequently from the “Site Feedback” link that is towards the top right across the site. We then aggregate all of this into our feedback repository, which helps guide our development decisions.
Sometimes it is a request for additional historical content and sometimes it relates to more efficient search tools for our power users. The focus of today’s release helps with both of these requests. At our Congress.gov Virtual Public Forum we were asked to add addition historical content to the hearing transcripts on the site. We worked to add additional previous congresses and with today’s release we have now added those hearing transcripts to our Browse pages under the Committees section.
We have also received feedback on our Quick Search Form. There has always been a Legislation and Law Numbers box where people can put in bill numbers. But sometimes users are in a hurry and put a bill number in the Words & Phrases box. With today’s update, if you put a bill number in the Words & Phrases box you will now be able to quickly get to that bill.
We also worked to improve the user experience for the citation fields across the Quick Search Form. If you put a keyword in, it will guide you to use the proper format and provide examples of bill and public law citations if, for example, you are typing in the Legislation and Law Numbers box on the Legislation search. This saves you from clicking search, getting no results, and then needing to figure out that you put keywords in the numbers box.
The following are the Congress.gov enhancements for July.
Enhancement – Search
- Examples are displayed above search boxes on all homepage search forms, remaining visible as you enter your search terms, and improving navigation for screen readers.
- A single bill or resolution number entered in the proper format in the Words & Phrases box on the Legislation search form will go directly to the corresponding bill or resolution page.
- When using the Legislation and Law Numbers box an error message displays below the box if you search a number in an unrecognized format. Move your cursor over the icon at the end of the message to see a tooltip on acceptable number formats.
- Other search forms display an error message for unrecognized number searches including:
- Legislation Text – Legislation Numbers
- Committee Reports – Report Numbers; Legislation and Law Numbers
- Nominations – PN Numbers
- House Communications – Communication Numbers
- Senate Communications – Communication Numbers
- Treaty Documents – Treaty Documents Numbers; Executive Report Numbers
Enhancement – Hearing Transcripts – Browse
Congress.gov is a user-centered designed website. Our two primary user experience designers are Fred Simonton and Zac Long. One way that we better understand user needs is through feedback. Share your feedback with us including how you think we could improve the website.
The following are the most-viewed bills for the week of July 3, 2022.
|1.||S.2992 [117th]||American Innovation and Choice Online Act|
|2.||H.R.7688 [117th]||Consumer Fuel Price Gouging Prevention Act|
|3.||S.2938 [117th]||Bipartisan Safer Communities Act|
|4.||H.R.3755 [117th]||Women’s Health Protection Act of 2021|
|5.||H.R.7910 [117th]||Protecting Our Kids Act|
|6.||H.R.3967 [117th]||Honoring our PACT Act of 2022|
|7.||H.R.2471 [117th]||Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2022|
|8.||S.2089 [117th]||Keep Kids Fed Act of 2022|
|9.||H.R.3684 [117th]||Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act|
|10.||S.3920 [117th]||Gas Price Gouging Prevention Act|
Subscribe to In Custodia Legis – it’s free! – to receive interesting posts drawn from the Law Library of Congress’s vast collections and our staff’s expertise in U.S., foreign, and international law.