{ subscribe_url: '/share/sites/library-of-congress-blogs/law.php' }

The Congress.gov Top 17 in 2017

This has been a great year for Congress.gov. In 2016 Congress.gov page views jumped more than 20% over 2015.  The jump in 2017 was even bigger, with over 90% more page views than the previous year!  We also saw our first day with more than a million page views.  Our @Congressdotgov Twitter account is closing in on 50,000 followers.

Our longtime project manager, Tammie Nelson, left the Library of Congress for new pursuits.  The Congress.gov team continued to do a variety of user testing to better understand our Congressional and constituent users, which helps us enhance the system.  We also co-hosted a Wikipedia edit-a-thon with the National Archives that focused on congressional committees and hearings.


Robert and I continued to blog about updates to Congress.gov throughout the year.  The Congress.gov team started the year with a similar development cycle as in previous years.  Based on user feedback, we changed the default search operator from OR to AND.  There was also a big release in April that enabled users to download search results.

With the July release we shifted our releases from approximately every three months to every three weeks.  These new “quick sprints” allow us to address the needs of our users more quickly.  We also kicked off the Tip, Top, and New series this summer on In Custodia Legis.  This series highlights a search tip to help share features of the site, the most-viewed legislation, and the new enhancements to Congress.gov.

To get an idea of how quickly we now make enhancements to the site, here are the releases after the first one in July:

The Capitol Building from the Catbird Seat. Photo by Andrew Weber

Top 17 in 2017

Are you interested in what have been the most-viewed bills this year? For previous years on Congress.gov, take a look back at 13 in 201314 in 2014, 15 in 2015, and 16 in 2016.

  1. H.R.861 – To terminate the Environmental Protection Agency.
  2. H.R.610 – To distribute Federal funds for elementary and secondary education in the form of vouchers for eligible students and to repeal a certain rule relating to nutrition standards in schools.
  3. H.R.193 – American Sovereignty Restoration Act of 2017
  4. H.R.586 – Sanctity of Human Life Act
  5. H.R.392 – Fairness for High-Skilled Immigrants Act of 2017
  6. H.R.38 – Concealed Carry Reciprocity Act of 2017
  7. 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. (Previously referred to as the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act)
  8. H.R.367 – Hearing Protection Act of 2017
  9. H.R.1628 – American Health Care Act of 2017
  10. H.R.899 – To terminate the Department of Education.
  11. H.R.1275 – World’s Greatest Healthcare Plan of 2017
  12. H.R.4585 – Save Net Neutrality Act of 2017
  13. H.J.Res.69 – Providing for congressional disapproval under chapter 8 of title 5, United States Code, of the final rule of the Department of the Interior relating to “Non-Subsistence Take of Wildlife, and Public Participation and Closure Procedures, on National Wildlife Refuges in Alaska”.
  14. H.R.2810 – National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2018
  15. H.R.621 – Disposal of Excess Federal Lands Act of 2017
  16. S.J.Res.34 – A joint resolution providing for congressional disapproval under chapter 8 of title 5, United States Code, of the rule submitted by the Federal Communications Commission relating to “Protecting the Privacy of Customers of Broadband and Other Telecommunications Services”.
  17. H.R.676 – Expanded & Improved Medicare For All Act

Thank you for using Congress.gov in 2017!  If you have a feature that you would like to see on the website, take a minute to provide us with feedback.

The Capitol Building. Photo by Hanibal Goitom

The Congress.gov Top 16 in 2016

This has been an exciting year working on Congress.gov.  In April we announced that THOMAS would be retired on July 5, which is when we officially pulled the plug.  Congress.gov matured over the year with new advanced ways to search the system and a variety of email alerts for tracking what is happening in Congress. We […]

Time to Say Goodbye to THOMAS

A version of the following article originally appeared in the July 1, 2016, edition of Library of Congress staff newsletter, The Gazette. THOMAS, which launched with great fanfare on January 5, 1995, twenty-one and a half years ago, is nearing its retirement on July 5, 2016.  Back when it launched, then-Librarian of Congress James H. […]

New Congress.gov Enhancements including Advanced Search

Today Congress.gov continues to be enhanced with the addition of a new Advanced Search Guided Form, a more web-friendly version of the Congressional Record Daily Digest, new and updated browse reports, and more. Since announcing the July 5 retirement of THOMAS, we have added several new RSS feeds and email alerts including saved search email alerts. These […]

New Email Alerts and RSS Feeds on Congress.gov

Last year’s most viewed new post on In Custodia Legis was Legislation Email Alerts on Congress.gov.  The email alerts are an excellent addition to the system that allow you to track a specific piece of legislation, what a Member of Congress is sponsoring and cosponsoring, and when the next issue of the Congressional Record is available. Building on those […]

Time to Turn off THOMAS: July 5, 2016

One of my favorite THOMAS related posts was of the THOMAS Starting Point, which featured the homepage of the site when it launched on January 5, 1995.  It seems only fitting to share the photo from the post while announcing the THOMAS Ending Point of July 5, 2016. I have talked frequently about THOMAS on In Custodia Legis […]

Congress.gov Spring Cleaning: Expanded Quick Search

Over the last several months, we have added a variety of enhancements to Congress.gov.  It began with the Communications in October, the Congressional Record Index in December, and the XML Bulk Data via GPO in February.  Today’s update focuses on expanding Quick Search on Congress.gov. When the Quick Search on Congress.gov first launched in December 2015, […]

The Congress.gov Top 15 in 2015

Another year, another list of legislation! After 13 in 2013 and 14 in 2014, it is time for the 15 most-viewed items in 2015 on Congress.gov. H.R.213 [114th] Fairness for High-Skilled Immigrants Act of 2015 H.R.1599 [114th] Safe and Accurate Food Labeling Act of 2015 H.R.1735 [114th] National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2016 […]

New End of Year Congress.gov Enhancements: Quick Search, Congressional Record Index, and More

In our quest to retire THOMAS, we have made many enhancements to Congress.gov this year.  Our first big announcement was the addition of email alerts, which notify users of the status of legislation, new issues of the Congressional Record, and when Members of Congress sponsor and cosponsor legislation.  That development was soon followed by the addition of treaty documents and better […]