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Congress.gov Search Tip – How to Track Specific Changes to Legislation with Email Alerts

The Congress.gov team recently improved saved search alerts for legislation. This improvement applies to searches that are performed from the legislation homepage search form and the advanced search form. Initially, saved search alerts for legislation provided you with a list of new items added to your search results list, as well as of items already in your search results list that had changed. The improved saved search alerts for legislation not only indicate new items that match your search, they will also allow you to choose specific changes you want to track for items already in your search results list and receive an email that identifies those changes.

Amy brings us today’s search tip on how to take advantage of these powerful new saved search alerts for legislation.

Please keep in mind that the enhanced saved search alerts only apply to legislation, and the user must perform the search from the legislation homepage search form or the advanced search form, not the global search.

1. First, perform a search from the legislation homepage search form or the advanced search form. Next, click “Save this Search.”

Create your saved search in Congress.gov

Create your saved search in Congress.gov.

2. Title your search, provide a description if desired, and click “Save.”

Title your saved search in Congress.gov.

Title your saved search in Congress.gov.

3. Select “Get Alerts” from the confirmation message that appears after you save your search.

Choose get alerts to receive saved search email alerts in Congress.gov.

Choose get alerts to receive saved search email alerts in Congress.gov.

4. Next, you will see the “Track Changes” popup box. Click on the box to the left of each item you wish to track in your alerts. Choose from among cosponsors, actions, related bills, amendments, committees, titles, summary, subjects, new text versions, and CBO cost estimates. Select the “Check All” box at the bottom of the popover box to track all parameters. Note that tracking amendments will alert you when a new amendment has been proposed to a bill included in your search results–it will not track changes to the amendment itself. Finally, select “Confirm Alerts” at the bottom right of the popup box to complete your alert setup and click “OK” on the confirmation message.

You can choose to track specific changes for saved search alerts for legislation that were performed the Congress.gov legislation homepage search and the advanced search form.

You can choose to track specific changes for saved search alerts for legislation that were performed the Congress.gov legislation homepage search and the advanced search form.

You’re finished! If you want to learn how to choose specific parameters for previously saved searches that were performed from the legislation search homepage or the advanced search page, click here.

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