Below is a timeline of releases that incorporated new content and improved features to Congress.gov.
March 2021, Part 2
Enhancement – House Communications – Links
- House executive communications link to the Congressional Record issue where they were published.
- Congressional Record references to House executive communications link to the communications.
Enhancement – Congressional Record – Search
- The Congress selection list on the search form includes all available Congresses.
- Member remarks selection lists are unavailable for Congresses prior to the 104th.
Enhancement – Legislation Text – Search
- Law texts are searchable from 93rd Congress (1973) to the present.
Enhancement – Legislation – Give Feedback
- Use the link from any current Congress measure to find your Representative and Senators to give them your feedback on the bill or resolution. This will help to redirect such feedback that is now often being sent to the Congress.gov technical team and fulfill frequent public requests for such a feature.
Enhancement – Committee Meetings – Improved Access
- Access the complete collection of hearing transcripts from the Committee Schedule Select a Date calendar.
- Link to treaty documents from committee meeting overviews.
Enhancement – Committee Materials – Search
New – Committee Alerts
- Login to your account to subscribe to a committee alert from any committee profile page.
- Receive an email whenever a measure or communication is referred to the committee and when the committee holds a hearing or publishes a report or print. Senate committee alerts also are sent when a nomination is referred to the committee.
- Choose which committee activity to be notified about from the alert confirmation window.
- Manage your committee alerts from your account page.
Enhancement – Legislation – Public Law Text
- Public law text has been added for 93rd – 103rd Congresses (1973-1994).
Enhancement – Legislation – Large Bill Texts
- Very large bill texts display the plain text format by default to improve the speed of loading the complete text into your browser window.
Enhancement – Amendments – Search
December 2020, Part 2
New – Saved Search Alerts – Consolidated Email
- Login to your account, go to your Alerts page and check the box to receive one email that includes all of your saved search alerts.
Enhancement – Legislation – Text File Size
- The size of each bill or resolution text file is displayed next to the XML/HTML, XML/HTML(new window), TXT and PDF links on the text tab to help you understand why a text may be slow to load in your browser.
Enhancement – Help Center – Search Results Navigation
- Help pages reached via a search include arrows to allow you to move through your results easily or to return to the results list.
Enhancement – Help Center – Improved Error Message
- Help links and contact information are listed on the “Page Not Found” error page.
Enhancement – Bound Congressional Record – Additional Congresses
- The Bound Congressional Record has been added for the 85th – 93rd Congresses (1957-1974).
Enhancement – House Rules Committee Prints – Related Legislation
- Committee prints issued by the House Committee on Rules display related legislation in search results and in the overview of the committee print.
- Legislation displays House Committee on Rules committee prints in the overview and on the related bills tab.
- This feature is available for 116th Congress committee prints now and will be added to previous Congresses in the future.
Enhancement – XML Data – Legislative Status Steps
- Additional XML data for legislative status steps is available for download for 2003-2012 (the 108th Congress to the 112th Congress)
Enhancement – Help Center – Search
- Help pages are searchable from the main Help Center page.
- Search results display text snippets to help you find the page most relevant to your needs.
Enhancement – Help Center – Navigation
- Help pages include navigation links on the left so you can move quickly to related resources.
Enhancement – Senate Executive Communications – Links
- Senate executive communications link to the Congressional Record issue where they were published.
Enhancement – Bound Congressional Record
- Bound Congressional Record section PDFs display a size in bytes to help you determine how long it may take to download.
- The Bound Congressional Record has been added for the 94th – 97th Congresses (1975-1982).
Enhancement – Alerts – Updated List
- Inactive bill and nominations alerts from back Congresses are no longer visible on your Alerts list.
- Bill and nomination alerts from the current Congress and the immediate prior Congress are still visible.
- No change to your list of Saved Search, Congressional Record or Committee Schedule alerts.
Enhancement - Committee Materials - ReadSpeaker
- Download an audio file to listen to the text of a committee print or a committee hearing transcript at your convenience.
Enhancement - Committee Meetings - Search Results
- Committee meeting search results display a video icon for House meetings with available video.
Enhancement - Share/Save Toolbar - New Look
- The toolbar that allows you to subscribe to various Congress.gov email alerts, share to Facebook or Twitter, or provide us with feedback on the website has a streamlined new look.
Enhancement - House Communications - Search Form
- House Communications search form displays historical committee names in the selection list when previous Congresses are selected.
Enhancement - Committee Meetings - Subcommittee Filter
September 2020, Part 2
Enhancement – Congressional Record – ReadSpeaker
- Download an audio file to listen to the Congressional Record Daily Digest at your convenience.
Enhancement – Legislation – Links to Hearings
- Links to printed hearing transcripts are available from the All Actions tab on Legislation.
Enhancement – Legislation – Search Results
- Sort order for search results from the Legislation homepage search form defaults to Date of Introduction – Newest to Oldest. Use the Sort by dropdown to change the sort order.
Enhancement – Committee Meetings – Search
- Witness organization and position are searched from the search bar. Use witnessOrganization: and witnessPosition: field labels from command line.
Enhancement – Congressional Record – Links
- Congressional Record references to Senate executive communications link to the communications.
New – Committee Meetings – Hearing Transcripts
- Committee meetings include full text of hearing transcripts when available.
- Transcripts are available initially for hearings from the 115th and 116th Congresses. More transcripts will be added for older Congresses over time.
- Search results indicate when a committee meeting includes a hearing transcript.
Enhancement – Senate Communications – Search Form
- Senate Communications search form displays historical committee names in the selection list when previous Congresses are selected.
Enhancement – Congress.gov – Footer Links
- Ask a Law Librarian in the footer and on the Contact Us page links to a revamped help service.
- Congressional Web Archive, a new link under Resources, takes you to archived member and committee websites from the 107th Congress forward.
Enhancement – Committee Reports – ReadSpeaker
- Download an audio file to listen to the text of a committee report at your convenience.
Enhancement – CBO Cost Estimates – Improved Display
- Style improvements make it easier to link to each Congressional Budget Office cost estimate.
Enhancement – Committee Profiles – Historical Notes
- Notes may be displayed on a committee profile to provide information about the committee’s history.
Enhancement – Account Management
Enhancement – Congressional Record – Bound Edition
- Bound Congressional Record volumes 129-134 covering the 98th – 100th Congresses (1983-1988) are available.
July 2020, Part 2
Enhancement – Members – Address Search
- Find your senators and representative by entering your address or zip code in the search box under Contact Your Member on the homepage or on the Members page.
Enhancement – Legislation – Search Results Sort Options
- Legislation search results can be sorted by number of cosponsors.
- Select Sort by: Cosponsor count – Most to Least to see which bills in your search set have the most cosponsors.
- Select Sort by: Cosponsor count – Least to Most to see which bills in your search set have the fewest cosponsors.
Enhancement – Nominations – Search Form
- Nominations search form displays historical committee names in the selection list when previous Congresses are selected.
Enhancement – Legislation – Saved Search Alerts
- Saved search alerts on legislation are sent only when new items match your search. Edit your alert to select to be notified of specific changes to items in your search.
Enhancement – House Amendments – Links
- House amendment description tabs have active links to committee reports.
Content – Bound Congressional Record – 101st & 102nd Congresses (1989-1992)
- Scanned content from the bound versions of the 101st and 102nd Congresses (1989-1992) will be added.
Enhancement – Members – House District Maps
- District maps are displayed on profiles of current House Members.
Enhancement - Congressional Record - Bound Edition
- The Bound Edition of the Congressional Record for the 103rd Congress is Now Available on Congress.gov.
May 2020, Part 2
Enhancement – Congressional Record – Page Redesign
- Congressional Record pages have a streamlined look so you see more of the text higher on the page.
New – Committee Publications – Committee Prints
- A new collection, Committee Publications, includes committee prints from the 103rd Congress to the present.
- To see the full list of Committee prints choose Committee Materials from the search bar selection list, click on the magnifying glass, and uncheck Committee Reports and Committee meetings in the Limit Your Search filter.
- Click on a print number in the list to see the full text of the committee print.
- Bill actions and amendment purposes or descriptions may include a link to a committee print.
New – Legislative Process Overview in Spanish
- Listen to or read the transcript of the Legislative Process Overview in Spanish.
Enhancement – Search Bar – Selection List
- The selection list for the search bar is reorganized.
- Default selection is Current Congress, which searches across items in the current Congress from any collection.
- Committee reports are included when Committee Materials is selected.
- Use More Options to see search forms for House Communications, Senate Communications and Treaty Documents among others.
Enhancement – Favicon – New Look
- The Congress.gov favicon has a new design. Look for the American flag to easily locate Congress.gov when you have multiple tabs open in your browser.
Enhancement - Legislation Text Quick Search Form - Keyword In Context
- The legislation text quick search now displays two snippets from the text of each search result, showing the search terms in context.
March 2020, Part 2
Enhancement – Committee Meetings – Titles
Enhancement – Members – Alerts
- Member alerts now include the Member’s photograph when available.
Enhancement – Congressional Record – Daily Digest
- Look for the Congressional Record link on the homepage to go directly to the Daily Digest for the current issue of the Congressional Record.
Enhancement – Legislation – Sort Cosponsors
- Use arrows in the column headers to sort cosponsors by name or date of cosponsorship on the All Info view.
Enhancement – Committee Schedule – Weekly Alert
- Receive an email every Monday with the updated committee schedule for the week.
Enhancement – Legislation – ReadSpeaker for Bill Text
- Download an audio file of the text of a bill to listen to while commuting or multitasking.
Enhancement – Advanced Search – Cursor Focus
- To quickly search by bill, resolution or law number, bookmark the advanced search page where your cursor is in the Legislation and Law Number search box by default.
Enhancement – Committee Videos – Links to Committee Schedule
- New links from the House Committee Videos have been added to the Committee Hearing detail pages.
- Titles now stay on videos when selecting a video to watch.
Enhancement – House Member Profile Pages – Enhanced Link to Clerk Website
- Updated link on House Member Profile pages, “View Member Committee Assignments and Recent Votes (House.gov).” Link goes to the House Clerk Member page with committee and subcommittee assignments, district map, and recent votes.
January 2020, Part 2
Enhancement – Saved Search Alerts – Legislation
- Alerts on saved searches list the sponsor for new and updated legislation included in the alert email.
January 2020, Part 1
Enhancement - Legislation
- Deep linking is now supported in the XML/HTML instance of legislation text, allowing the user to link directly to text within legislation.
Enhancement - Congressional Record Index
- The ability to search the text of the Congressional Record Index has been improved.
Enhancement – Committee Schedule – Navigation
- Next and previous arrows allow for easy navigation from one meeting detail page to the next.
Enhancement – Cosponsors – Compact View
- The compact view of the cosponsors tab on legislation pages provides an unformatted version of the list of cosponsors that is useful for cutting and pasting the information into another application.
Enhancement – Senate Amendments – Withdrawn Cosponsors
- Withdrawn cosponsors are now displayed on Senate Amendments.
Enhancement – Search Results – Accessibility
- Coding improvements have been made to allow screen readers to navigate to search results with one click.
Enhancement – Committee Profiles – Schedule Links
September 2019, Part 2
Enhancement – Committee Schedule – Filters
- Weekly and daily views of the Committee Schedule have filters to limit meetings by chamber or committee.
Enhancement – Committee Schedule – Display Options
- Weekly view of the Committee Schedule allows you to toggle between a compact or expanded view.
Enhancement – Legislation – Committee Meeting Links
- Bill detail pages link to associated committee meetings on the Committee Schedule.
September 2019, Part 1
Enhancement – Committee Schedule – Search
- Committee Schedule meeting information is searched from the search bar when you select All Sources.
Enhancement – Committee Profiles – Committee Meetings
- Committee meetings are listed on each committee’s profile page.
Enhancement – Law Library Reports – Homepage Link
July 2019, Part 2
Enhancement – Committee Schedule – Weekly View
- Committee Schedule weekly view includes a calendar-based date picker for navigating to different weekly schedules.
July 2019, Part 1
Enhancement – Committee Schedule – Supporting Documentation
- Committee Schedule detail pages display supporting documentation when available.
Enhancement – Search Results – Navigation
- Page navigation is available at the top of each search results page to make it easier to move through large sets of results.
Enhancement – Committee Reports - Search Results
- Committee Report search results display a link to errata for any report for which one has been issued.
May 2019, Part 2
Enhancement – Member Profile Pages – Results Navigation
- When viewing a bill or other item listed on a member profile page, you can use the navigation arrows to move to the next or previous item in the list without needing to return to the profile page.
Enhancement – Committee Reports – Errata Display
- Committee Report errata text displays as a tab on the committee report detail page.
May 2019, Part 1
Enhancement – Committee Schedule – Upcoming Meetings on Homepage
- Upcoming House and Senate Committee Meetings on the homepage displays the next three committee hearings/meetings scheduled with the date, time, and committee name as well as a link to the detail page of each listed meeting.
Enhancement – Committee Profile Pages – Results Navigation
- When viewing a bill or other item listed on a committee profile page, you can use the navigation arrows to move to the next or previous item in the list without needing to return to the profile page.
Enhancement – Legislation Alerts – Cosponsor Dates
- Alerts on legislation that list new cosponsors include the date of cosponsorship.
Enhancement – House Committee Hearings Video – Live Indicator
- You can tell at a glance when a House committee hearing is livestreaming by looking for the LIVE icon next to the Committee Hearings Video link under Current Legislative Activities on the Congress.gov homepage.
March 2019, Part 2
Enhancement – Committee Profiles – Subcommittee Filter
- You can filter by subcommittee when you limit your research or results to a single Congress on a committee profile.
Enhancement – Legislation Text – Bill Type Filter
- When you search from the Legislation Text form, you can filter your search results by Bill Text Versions.
Enhancement – Committee Schedule – Meeting Updates
March 2019, Part 1
Enhancement – House Bills to be Considered – Link from Homepage
Enhancement – Chamber of Origin filter – Open by default
- The Chamber of Origin filter on search results has been moved higher on the page and is open by default so you can quickly limit your results to measures from one chamber.
Enhancement – Committee Schedule – House and Senate Hearings and Meetings
- A unified calendar listing House and Senate hearings and other meetings can be viewed by week or day.
- Detail page for each event includes committee name and website, date and location of event, and if available, witness list, video of proceedings and links to supporting documentation.
Enhancement – Legislation Advanced Search – Search by State of Sponsor or Cosponsor
- From the Sponsor and Cosponsor selection pages, you can easily search for legislation sponsored or cosponsored by members from a particular state or territory.
Enhancement – Policy Areas – Scope Notes Added
- Policy Area scope notes describe the subject matter of measures assigned to each policy area.
Enhancement – Homepage Search Forms – Filters Open by default
- Filters now display by default on homepage search form results pages.
Enhancement – Homepage Search Forms – Reset Added
- An extra Reset button has been added to the top of each homepage search form to make it easier to clear previous search parameters from the form.
Enhancement – Browse Pages – Sort Order Changes
Enhancement – Search – Track multiple searches within a user session
- Open up to 10 browser tabs to conduct multiple searches and your search results, including next and previous navigation, are retained for each search for up to one hour.
Backend – Preparation for 116th Congress
- Site updates to add the 116th Congress completed in development environment.
Backend – Changes to ETL (extract/transform/load) programs to use govinfo as GPO source
- Completed development work for all collections to ingest GPO data from govinfo.gov.
Enhancement – Legislation and Committee Report Search Forms – Committee selection lists show all names
- When you choose all Congresses on the homepage Legislation Search Form or Committee Report Search Form, the committee selection lists show committee name changes throughout the years.
Enhancement – Legislation Search Results – Subcommittee filter
- Legislation search results for single Congress searches display a subcommittee filter to narrow your results to measures with activity, such as hearings or markups, by a particular subcommittee.
Enhancement – Legislation – Search by State of Sponsor or Cosponsor
Enhancement – Advanced Legislation Search – Committee selection pages list all names
- When you choose all Congresses on the Advanced Legislation Search, the committee selection pages show committee name changes.
Enhancement – Search Results Navigation – Page through all amendments for a specific bill
- From the Amendments tab of a bill with more than one amendment (for example, HR2810), click on an amendment in the list to see the full amendment record.
- Use arrows to move to next or previous amendment without needing to return to the list.
- Use Back to Amendments link to return to the list on the amendments tab of the bill.
Enhancement – Congressional Record Index Navigation – Page through all entries
- Use arrows to move to next or previous entry in the Congressional Record index without needing to return to the main index page.
- Use Back to Results link to return to your search results, or to the main index page if you are browsing.
New – Actions and Cosponsors by Date – Browse page lists newly added information
- Find it on the Browse list under Legislation by Number.
- Click on totals in each cell to see legislation with newly added information.
Enhancement – Legislation Advanced Search – Find words across all Actions or within same Action
- Use the Search in Actions/Status Text box to find words or action codes across all actions in a measure.
- Use the link below the box to limit your search to a single action within a specified date range. Words searched must be in the same action on the date or within the date range you selected.
Enhancement - Updated Calendars and Schedule Page
- Committee schedule links added for House and Senate committees.
Enhancement – Legislation Saved Search Alerts – Choose which changes to track
- Alert emails list new search results and show changed results for bills and resolutions.
- When setting up an alert for searches from the legislation search form or advanced search form, users can choose which changes to track for inclusion in alerts.
- Saved Searches and Alerts management pages display Edit Alert links for legislation alerts to update track changes preferences.
- Options for tracking changes to bills and resolutions include cosponsors, actions, related bills, amendments, committees, titles, summaries, subjects and CBO cost estimates.
Enhancement – Public Access to CRS Reports – Link from Congress.gov homepage
- A link to the new CRS Reports public site is on the Congress.gov homepage under the Current Legislative Activities section.
- Congress.gov footer includes a link to the CRS Reports public site under the Resources header.
August 2018, Part 2
Enhancement – Search forms – Words & Phrases search box improvements
- A label has been added to identify the Words & Phrases search box on the homepage search forms.
- The size of the box has been increased to make it easier to view long search queries.
- Cursor now defaults to the Words & Phrases search box on the Legislation search form so users can begin typing keywords without needing to click into the box.
August 2018, Part 1
Enhancement – “Presented to President" on homepage links to improved list
- From the Recent section on the homepage, the Presented to President search results list includes measures presented to the President but not yet signed by the President.
Enhancement – Nominations – Display of multiple committee names
- Committees are displayed in referral date order for nominations referred to more than one committee.
- Examples: PN1252, PN1100.
Enhancement – Committee Reports Browse – label changes
- From the Committees section of the Browse page, committee reports labels are changed to House Reports and Senate Reports.
- Executive Reports are no longer included in count of Senate Reports.
Enhancement – Legislation Advanced Search Form – “Legislative Interest” House Committee Activity
- Legislative Interest, a House committee-related activity, may now be searched from the Legislation Advanced Search form.
- To search, select the Legislative Interest checkbox from the Committees section of the form either on its own or in combination with other committee-related activity options: Any, Referred to, Hearings by, Markup by, Reported by, Reported Original Measure, or Discharged from.
- Limit the search to one or multiple committees using the Choose House Committees or Choose Senate Committees buttons below the checkboxes.
- Example – From the Legislation Advanced Search form, a user may retrieve 115th Congress legislation of Legislative Interest to the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee.
Enhancement – Legislation with Actions Related to House Committees Browse – “Legislative Interest” Column
- The Legislation with Actions Related to House Committees browse report now has a column for Legislative Interest data.
- Columns in the report – All Legislation, Originated, Referred, Hearings, Markups, Reported, Discharged, and Legislative Interest – each contain data for legislation on which a committee has acted. Committees only display in the report after their legislative activities have been received from the official House legislative data system. Numbers in each column link to results lists for the specified committee-related activity.
- Example – The 113th Congress report displays 20 items of Legislative Interest to the House Homeland Security committee. Selecting the link in the Legislative Interest column displays the 20 bills in a results list.
June 2018, Part 2
New Feature – Congress.gov Notifications RSS and email alerts
- Congress.gov users can now subscribe to "Congress.gov Notifications" to receive alerts with news and information about new features, system maintenance, and other items of interest.
- Sign up to receive notifications via RSS feed or email.
Enhancement – “On the Floor" reports linked from Yesterday in Congress browse
- Bills, resolutions, nominations, and treaties considered in the House and Senate are listed, by date, from a new “On the Floor” column on the Yesterday in Congress browse report.
- Note that “On the Floor” lists are available for dates beginning in May 2018.
- House and Senate “Previous Meeting” dates, in the Current Legislative Activities area on the Congress.gov homepage, have linked to “On the Floor” lists since early June 2018.
Enhancement – Committee Authority Project – Access to archived websites of terminated committees
The Committee Authority Project is a multi-phase project to improve access to committee information.
- Terminated committee profile pages now link to committee websites archived by the Library of Congress, when available.
- Example: the Select Committee on the Events Surrounding the 2012 Terrorist Attack in Benghazi terminated in 2016. The Congress.gov profile page for this committee will link to a calendar of dates for which committee website content was collected for the Congressional Web Archives.
Enhancement – Legislation Advanced Search Form – Committee Activity Feature
- From the Committees section of the Legislation Advanced Search form, users can select a series of checkboxes to apply one or several committee-related activities to their search criteria.
- Selections are Any, Referred To, Hearings By, Markup By, Reported By, Reported Original Measure, and Discharged From. The form defaults to Any.
- Users can limit their search to activity related to one or multiple committees using the Choose House Committees or Choose Senate Committees buttons below the checkboxes.
- Example: In the Advanced Search form, select the 114th Congress. Under Committees select “Hearings by” and the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee. The search returns measures for which Senate Energy and Natural Resources held hearings.
Enhancement – "On the Floor" Reports Linked From Homepage
- Under Current Legislative Activities on the homepage, Previous Meeting dates for the House and Senate link to reports of floor activity related to bills and resolutions, amendments, nominations, and treaties.
- Previous Meeting links to a page indicating “There is no floor activity data to show for this day” if a chamber was not in session.
- Example: On May 17, 2018, the Previous Meeting link for the Senate would have linked to this On the Floor report of activity for May 16, displaying the bills, resolutions and nominations acted upon on that day.
Enhancement – Streamlined Homepage Search Forms
- In each of the homepage search forms, About and Browse links are located on the bottom left of the form, rather than under the Words and Phrases search bar.
- Date ranges searched are now found within Congress multi-select pick lists as part of the All Congresses option.
Enhancement – Subject Term Links from “All Information” Bill Detail Pages
- From the “All Information” page of a bill or resolution, each Subject Term now links to a browse report of measures from the same congress that also have a relationship to that Subject Term.
- Example – From the “All Information” page for H.R. 1 (115th), selecting the “Accounting and auditing” Subject Term returns the 115th Congress bills and resolutions that are also tagged with that term.
Enhancement – Saved Search “Overwrite” from the Legislation Homepage and Advanced Search Forms:
- After running and editing a saved search from the Legislation Homepage Search form or Legislation Advanced Search form, a user now has the ability to either overwrite the original saved search with updated search criteria, or to save a new search.
- Example – After running a saved search for legislation with Senate floor actions, a user decides to limit the search to Senate bills that became law. After making this change, a “Save This Search” button appears above the filters. After selecting “Save This Search,” a window appears, prompting the user to enter a title for the search. If the user enters a new title and saves, the user creates a new search, which can be accessed and run from the user’s account. If the user does not enter a new title and selects the save option with the original title in place, the system offers the user the option to overwrite the existing saved search.
Enhancement – Congress.gov Help - Using Search Forms:
- The Congress.gov Introduction to Search Help page now includes guidance on using the collection-specific search forms from the homepage, including how to access the search forms, how to modify search criteria from the search results page, and how to reset the forms to start a new search.
April 2018, Part 2
Enhancement – Search Alert Project
- The Search Alert Project is a multi-phase project to enhance Congress.gov saved search alert functionality to include features of LIS.gov alert functionality, in preparation for LIS.gov retirement.
- Congress.gov account holders who have subscribed to alerts for saved searches now receive alert emails in the afternoon in addition to the morning.
- Afternoon alerts detail changes to saved search results since the morning alerts. They do not duplicate information sent in the morning.
- On Congress.gov account Saved Searches pages, searches now appear with an Edit Search option in addition to previously available options such as Run Search, Delete Search, and Get Alerts.
- Selecting Edit Search displays the search criteria in the search form from which the search was saved.
- For searches saved from the global search, Edit Search displays the search criteria in the search bar.
- Users may edit search criteria and save to overwrite and update a saved search.
Enhancement – Filter and Sort Legislation Text Search Results
- Users may filter and sort search results retrieved using the Legislation Text search form with the “Allow quotes and Boolean operators” option selected.
- Users may filter results by Congress, Bill Text Type, and Chamber of Origin.
- Users may sort results by Relevancy, Date, Bill Number – Ascending, and Bill Number – Descending.
- Examples –
- Use the filters to refine a search across Congresses for legislation text containing “vote registration”~5 or “vote rights”~5 to see only items that were introduced in the House in the 114th Congress. (Select Show Filters to the left of the search results to view filter selections.)
- Or, select a sort option from the “Sort by” menu to view 115th Congress items by Bill Number Descending.
April 2018, Part 1
Enhancement – Committee Authority Project – Phase 3
The Committee Authority Project is a multi-phase project to improve access to committee information.
- The profile pages of inactive committees now indicate that a committee's status is Terminated, and the years when a committee was active.
- Example – Select Committee to Investigate the Voting Irregularities of August 2, 2017
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 115H.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.
Enhancement – Saved Search Alert display
- On Congress.gov account Alert pages, searches with alerts that were saved from a homepage search form or advanced search form now appear with labels indicating which data set was used to create the search.
- Example – a search saved from the House Communications search form displays a red label that reads “Saved House Communications Search” rather than “Saved Search”.
Enhancement - Legislation Text form Boolean search functionality
- The Legislation Text search form defaults to the option to "Allow quotes and boolean operators" when searching words and phrases, allowing users to perform more specific searches than previously.
- Example - search across Congresses for Enrolled versions of texts containing “vote registration”~5 or “vote rights”~5 to find texts containing the words in either phrase within five words of each other.
Enhancement – Related Bills navigation
- Selecting a link to a related bill opens the bill in a new tab and displays the most recent Summary.
- Example – under H.R. 1’s Related Bills tab, selecting H.R. 1012 opens a new tab displaying the Overview and Summary for H.R. 1012.
Enhancement – “Remember Me” user account functionality
- When a user checks the “Remember Me” box when signing into their Congress.gov account, their login information is saved in the form for six months, facilitating quick account access.
This release additionally includes backend work to improve access to committee information as part of the ongoing Committee Authority Project.
Enhancement – Increased number of downloadable search results
- Export up to 1000 search results items to a spreadsheet or CSV file, increased from the previous limit of 500 items.
Enhancement - Treaty status steps link to related Senate chamber amendments
- For treaty documents for which Senate chamber amendments were proposed, considered, or agreed to, related status steps link to the amendment’s object page for ease of reference.
- For example, under the Actions tab of 111-5 Treaty with Russia on Measures for Further Reduction and Limitation of Strategic Offensive Arms, status steps related to several Senate amendments link directly to the amendments.
This release also includes backend work addressing enhancements to Congress.gov saved search alerts.
Enhancement – Search forms integrated with the Congress.gov Homepage
- Search forms previously available from the Quick link for the legislation, legislation text, committee reports, Congressional Record, nominations, Senate communications, and treaty documents data collections are integrated with the Congress.gov homepage, along with a new House Communications search form.
- Users can hide or open the search forms using a “Fewer Options/More Options” toggle.
- When forms are closed, the homepage displays a search bar similar to the previous Homepage Main search function.
New Search Form – Communications to the House
- Includes search fields for: Congress, Record Type, Communication Type, Submitting organization, Federal Rulemaking, Communication Number, Legal Authority, Committee, State or Territory, and the date it was published in the Congressional Record.
Enhancement – Legislation search results
- Lengthy bill titles display in full when viewing search results in Compact view.
Enhancement – Congress.gov Help
- Enhanced Data Anomalies page, in which items with unusual metadata or document texts are listed by collection. For example, there is no issue numbered 22 within Volume 163 (2017) for the Congressional Record.
Enhancements - Committee Authority Project Phase 2
The Committee Authority Project is a multi-phase project to improve access to committee information.
- Full official names of Joint Committees display on committee profile pages and on the Committees of the U.S. Congress landing page.
- Committee Name History includes information about terminated committees and commissions authorized to interact with the Congress.gov data sets.
Legislation Advanced Search Form - Improved Date of Action Search Interface
- Actions/Status section is reorganized to clarify that the date picker relates to terms entered in the Search in Actions/Status Text box.
Preparation continues for the early 2018 release of the redesigned Congress.gov homepage incorporating Quick Search forms. Backend work performed as part of this release includes updates to the site’s responsive design, navigation, and styling.
Enhancement - Query Builder
- Improved search functionality for words in nomination actions or Nominations Action picklist searches on specific dates or date ranges.
House Communications - More visually prominent committee referral data
- Example: See committees and referral dates for 115EC2621
House committee reports - Display calendar numbers in report headers
- Example: See 'House Calendar No. 167' in the header for 111HRpt423
New Data Collection – Communications to the House
- First public release of Communications to the House. Collection dates from January 6, 2015 (114th Congress) to the present, it includes Requirements records active since August 1, 2016.
- Search the collection from Homepage Main search or Query Builder advanced search tools.
- From Homepage, select House Communications in collection menu and enter "National Drug Control Strategy" to find related items.
- Use Query Builder to find 114th Congress items sent to the House Committee on Ways and Means with the word nurse in the abstract.
- Browse from the Communications to the House link on the homepage
- Filter search results by Congress, Record Type, Communication Type, Committee, and Communications by US State and Territory.
- House committee profile pages include Communications referred to them.
- See Limit Your Search filter on House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee profile.
Enhancement - Nominations Date Search
- Improved search functionality for words in nomination actions or Nominations Action picklist searches on specific dates or date ranges. Example searches:
Enhancement – Congressional Record
- Improved access to Congressional Record collection – including the archive of daily edition issues from the 101st, 102nd and 103rd Congresses that are not searchable but can be browsed by date
- Links to the 101st, 102nd, and 103rd Congresses added to Congressional Record Browse by Date page dropdown menu
- Browse by Date menu added to Congressional Record Archive landing page, providing access to non-archived issues from 95th-115th Congresses
Enhancement – Legislation
- Latest Action in bill detail page overview boxes and in search results specifies the chamber associated with the particular action
Enhancement – Nominations Search
- Nominations quick search form supports search for actions
Enhancements – Committee Report
- Calendar numbers display in Senate report headers
- S.Rpt. 114-201 displays Calendar No. 345
Enhancements – Tracker Adjustments
- Tracker displays Agreed to in House and Agreed to in Senate – rather than Passed House or Passed Senate – for Resolutions and Concurrent Resolutions
Enhancements – Treaty Detail Navigation
- Executive reports open with collapsed overview boxes from TXT links in treaty detail overview boxes
- See link to Exec. Report 114-4 from Treaty Document 112-8
Enhancements – Legislation Advanced Search Improvements
- Legislation Action Date Search
- Date of Action and the Search in Actions/Status Text box now function together to support finding all measures that became law during February 2017 and other date searches.
- Limit action searches by House or Senate
Enhancements – Committee Authority Project (phase 1)
- Committee Authority Project is a multi-phase project to improve access to committee information.
- Committee Names and Codes – Historic committee names added to help researchers identify years when committee names have changed.
- Committee picklists on Legislation, Committee Report, Nomination, and Senate Executive Communication quick forms will be managed by committee authority rules, rather than committee activity data.
- Committee picklists now provide a complete list of committees eligible to interact with legislation and Congressional documents for all congresses since 1973.
- Committee picklists support cross-congress retrieval of items regardless of committee names changes.
Enhancements - Search:
- Presumed AND for global and advanced search
- Legislation search form filters for Actions, Titles, and Summaries
- Nomination search form Date, Actions, Position, and Organization filters
- Treaty Document search form filters for Actions, Titles, Text of Resolution, and Index Terms
- Query Builder – text search box expands to support lengthy searches
Enhancements – Usability:
- Change "Facet" to "Filter"
- Print-friendly page scaling
- Print-friendly Amendment “All Information” pages
Enhancements – Download Search Results:
- Export up to 500 search results items to spreadsheet or CSV file
Enhancements – Quick Search Guided Forms:
- "Words and Phrases" defaults to AND
- Date and Member Remarks filters for Congressional Record
- Tile/headings filter for Committee Reports and Congressional Record
- Chamber of Origin filter for Legislation Text
- Links to ‘Browse Legislation’, ‘Browse Committee Publications’, ‘CR Browse’, etc., facilitate access to a library of popular reports.
Enhancements – Legislation Advanced Search Guided Form:
- Link to ‘Browse Legislation’ facilitates access to more than 35 frequently used reports.
- Congress selection checkbox and other improvements to the guided form
Enhancements – Query Builder Search Form:
- Additional word proximity ("is near") options
- New “Word Variants” and “Case Sensitive” options
Enhancements – Homepage:
- Search Tips and Law Library news
- Display session convene times for the House
Enhancements – Homepage Links:
- New “Recent” set of links for “Current Legislative Activities”
- “Yesterday in Congress”
- “Bill Texts” received today
- “Calendars and Schedules”
- “Presented to President”
Enhancements – Alerts and Saved Searches:
- Subscribe to appropriations update email alerts from RSS and Email Alerts
- Edit an existing saved search title
Enhancements – Legislation:
- Subject Term links - Links from terms open lists of other bills and resolutions to which the term has been assigned. EXAMPLE: Subject Terms Assigned to S.524
- Search bill texts by Versions Published from Legislation Text search form
Enhancements – Congressional Record:
- Web-friendly display of Congressional Record Index entries. EXAMPLE: National Park Service
- Quick Search link from most recent issue page
- Year/Volume facet. See it from this results list
Enhancements – Committee Reports:
- Find committee reports associated with law numbers from Committee Reports search form
- Display improvements. See them at H.Rept.114-33
Enhancements – Legislation Advanced Search Guided Form:
- Collapse sections of the search form
- Your Selections displays Subjects, Actions, Sponsors, Cosponsors, and Committees
- Date of Introduction search.
Enhancements – Search Results:
- Customization options to show or hide facets, the Legislation Tracker, and collection labels
- Cosponsor counts included in results lists for legislation
- Paging through multiple results list page improvements
Enhancements – Accounts, Alerts, and Saved Searches:
- “Remember Me” option for your password
- Change title option for your Saved Search
Enhancements – Usability:
- Coverage dates and “About” page links added to all full collection pages
- Use the Search Tools link at the top of any Congress.gov page to see a complete list of search fields, operators and examples.
Enhancements – Legislation Advanced Search Guided Form:
- Popup message about leaving the form has been removed
- “Bill History in the Congressional Record” (on “Actions” tab) has reciprocal link back to bill “
Enhancement – Query Builder:
- Date calendar access improvements
Enhancement – Quick Search:
- Congressional Record
Enhancements to Legislation:
From “Bill History in the Congressional Record” there is now a link back to the bill record
Enhancements – Treaty Documents:
- “All Information (Except Text)” feature
- “Congress” facet improvements
Enhancements – Nominations:
- Alerts for Nominations
- “All Information” feature
Enhancements – Committees:
- “Chamber of Origin ”facet allows you to see
New feature – Advanced Search Guided Form:
- Advanced Search is now a guided form with help specific to legislative research
- Query Builder is the new name for the old Advanced Search
- New Advanced Search provides links to Query Builder and Command Line search
Enhancement – Legislation:
- Roll Call Votes total of House and Senate votes on bill overviews
- Roll Call Votes facet on the Actions tab
- Public Laws browse report includes TXT | PDF links
Enhancement – Congressional Record:
- Web-friendly Daily Digest
- Congressional Record archive for 1989-1994 (101-103rd Congresses) added
Enhancement – Highlighting:
- Amendments, bill texts, related bills, subjects, and titles have highlighting
- Phrase highlighting is supported
Enhancement – Saved Search:
o Quick Search forms include Save Search links
Enhancement – Browse:
- House, Senate, and executive committee reports browse lists
- New “Nominations by Number” browse lists
New feature – Command Line Search:
The ability to turn off stemming and case variants is now supported for the allBillTitles field
New Historic data – Senate Executive Communications:
- Senate Executive Communications for 1979-1986 (96-99th Congresses)
New feature – RSS Feed:
- An RSS Feed is now available that will update subscribers each time the most current appropriation table is updated
New feature – Quick Search for more data collections:
- Congressional Record
- Committee Reports
- Treaty Documents
- Communications to the Senate
New feature – RSS Feeds:
- RSS feeds similar to those in THOMAS have been added:
- Most Viewed Bills
- Search Tips
- House Floor Today
- Senate Floor Today
- Bills Presented to the President
New feature – Word variants and case sensitivity:
- Word variant controls allow you to find ‘parking’ without false hits for ‘parks’
- Case sensitivity controls allow you to find ‘TIGER’ without false hits for ‘tiger’
- Quick search and Command Line support word variants and case sensitivity
Enhancement – Nominations links to hearings:
- Nominations Actions link to hearings
Enhancement – New Command Line Search Fields:
- Find legislation by dates of action with ‘actionDateStr’
- Find cosponsorships by date with ‘cosponsorDateStr’
New feature – Legislation Quick Search:
- Search Bill Status (metadata 1973-present), with or without Bill Text (full text 1993-present), collection by any combination of Congresses, sponsor and/or cosponsor, committee, legislative action (curated searches), and keywords.
- Streamlined search results list allows user to:
- Display or hide the tracker
- Display or hide the facets
- Bill detail page opens for single item search results, bypassing results list display
New feature – Congressional Record Index:
- Search the Congressional Record Index (CRI) 1995-present (beginning with the 104th Congress)
- Search CRI for terms, only
- Search CRI for terms plus text of annotated entries
- Use the A-to-Z ribbon to browse the CRI
- CRI annotated entries link to referenced CR pages and bill detail pages
Enhancements – Legislation:
- 'Bill History in the Congressional Record' links from Actions tab features 'History of Bills' entries from CRI
- Cosponsors tab
- Sponsor name displays on the cosponsor tab
- Statistics for current, original, and withdrawn cosponsors display
- Command Line search form supports Date of Major Action search using Major Action Codes
- 'Action on Legislation - Browse by Date' now includes amendments. This browse was previously titled 'Bills with Chamber Action (Daily Digest)'
- Search and browse historic bill texts has been added to the existing collection. New texts are from 1989-1992 (101st and 102nd Congresses).
Enhancements – User Experience:
- Spanish-language legislative process graphic
- U.S. States and Territories interactive finding aid map
New feature – Senate Executive Communications:
- Included in "All Sources" searches
- Collection landing page supports keyword search of Executive Communications
- Results sets can be limited by these facets:
- Communication Type (Petitions or Memorials, Presidential Messages, Executive Communications)
- Searchable from Advanced Search
- Senate committee profile pages include Executive Communications referred to them
Enhancements – New Browse Lists:
- Legislative Subject Terms
- Popular and Short Titles
Enhancements – User Experience:
- Sorting options for all collections
- Results lists feature direct links to 'All Actions' for Legislation, Nominations, and Treaty Documents
- Two Minute tip videos have been added to orient users to
- Create alerts
- Use search terms and facets
- Legislative Action searches (on Advanced Search) are categorized by legislative process stages:
- Introduction and Referral
- Committee Consideration
- Floor Consideration
- Amendment Actions
- Roll Call Votes
- Resolving Differences
- To President
- Became Law
- Veto Consideration
- Advanced Search now supports proximity searches
- Command Line search fields for:
- Law texts
- Bill Text Version types
- House and Senate calendar numbers
- Nominations Type facet features checkbox and "select only" options
- "Date Received from President" added to the results display
- "Major Actions" are now referred to as "Actions Overview"
Enhancements – User Experience:
- Political party and Congressional Record section facets allow the user to multi-select
- Users may use next/previous arrows to navigate through search results
- Citation pattern matching has been adjusted
- Middle name and nickname are now supported in cosponsor/sponsor fields
- Advanced Search
- It is now possible to edit the URL with a parameter that will keep the search form open
- A preset date query is now supported, e.g., “yesterday”
- Detail / Profile pages
- Search within results is available on member and committee profile pages
- Help/About pages
- The committee field value list has been adjusted
- The bioguide field value list has been adjusted
- Listen will read aloud the text of the bill summary page
- The user can also highlight portions of the text to be read by Listen
Enhancements – Accounts / Alerts / Saved Searches:
- The following changes were based on user feedback:
- The bill title has been added to bill and member alerts
- Members alerts are triggered by amendment cosponsorship/sponsorship
Enhancements – Browse:
- Adjustments have been made to the treatment of private laws
- Sort has been added to the recently received text browse report
Enhancement – Appropriation Tables:
- Added tables for prior years in the new appropriations table format that debuted in March of 2015
Enhancement - Resources:
- Added the Federalist Papers
Enhancement - Searching:
- Enhancements to searching
- Congress.gov now supports the following:
- Proximity search for phrases
- Smart quotes in search strings
- Diacritics in search strings
- Additional citation patterns and fixes to citation patterns Highlighting within bill actions
- Improvements to highlighting
Enhancement – Command Line Search:
- Command Line / Advanced Search
- Additional fields
- Added/updated legislative command line fields
- Added/updated nomination command line fields
- New count-based command line fields
- Added/updated fields in the advanced search form
- Adjusted allBillTitles field to include amendment purpose and description
- Now supports treatyStatus on command line
- Type ahead available on sponsor/cosponsor field
- Now retains user entry in text boxes when the field selection changes
Enhancement – Search Results:
- Search Results
- Numbers the search results
- Added “(private legislation)” in search results
Enhancement – Help & About Pages:
- Enhancements have been made to the Help/About pages
- Provided a Field Value List page for Bioguide IDs
- Provided a Field Value List page for committee IDs
Enhancement - Alerts:
- Changes have been made to the alert emails based on user feedback
- The Congress.gov logo now links to the homepage
- Changed the bill alert email: The sort triggers in tab order
- Changed the bill alert email: Changed the cosponsors link to go to reverse chronological cosponsor list
- Changed the member alert email: Bills are sorted by number
Enhancement - Browse:
- Law Listing Report
- Recently Added Bill Text Report
- Bill by Request Report
- Private Bills Report
- Enhancements to the existing browse reports
Enhancement – Appropriation Tables:
- Added tables for prior years in the new appropriations table format that debuted in March of 2015
Enhancement – Accessibility:
- Adjusted system alert messages
- Tabs are displayed inside the dropdown on mobile devices
- Suppressed the display of breadcrumbs for a cleaner presentation on mobile devices
New Feature - Treaties:
Treaty documents are available on Congress.gov for all treaties submitted to the Senate since the 94th Congress (1975-1976). Treaties submitted prior to the 94th Congress are included if they were pending in 1975. Treaty documents include the following features:
- Support for global search of treaties:
- Text search via resolution text, treaty doc text, treaty topic, originating organization, countries, TIAS number, citation (including old treaty number), and index terms
- Supports cross-data-source facet: Congress
- Supports treaty-specific facets: Status of Treaty Document, Treaty Topic
- The treaty detail page includes a detailed overview, list of Senate actions, and tabs for: resolution of ratification; treaty document; amendments; additional fields.
- The treaties landing page, includes a treaty number search, links to relevant internal and external pages, and a faceted result set.
- A link to treaties has been added to the homepage.
- Treaties have been added to the activity scope of the committee profile page (this feature only affects Senate Foreign Service committee).
- Treaties have been added to overview box for amendments that amend treaties.
New Feature - Executive Reports:
- Executive Reports, dating from 1995-present, have been added to the scope of the existing Committee Reports functionality.
- The Senate Foreign Relations Committee profile will feature treaties, in addition to legislation and nominations.
Enhancement - Advanced Search:
- The following fields have been added:
- Related bills
- Private legislation (in the command line)
- Congress (for the Congressional Record collection)
- Date range searches for “Latest Action” of nominations and treaties
- Treaty fields
- An “Is all of” operator has been added to the following fields:
- Action - Status of Legislation
- Committee – House
- Committee – Senate
- The advanced search form has been widened.
- The advanced search form interface supports curated “popular” legislative action searches that can be selected from a menu.
- Advanced search and command line search results can be refined with facets.
Enhancement - Browse:
- New reports/tables are available, allowing the user to browse:
- Bills with Chamber Action
- Major Actions on Bills and Amendments
- Actions by Committees and Subcommittees
Enhancement - Bills are in XML as the default display option in the Text tab of bill detail page:
- XML will display as the default in Text tab of the bill detail page.
Enhancement - Current information about activity on the House and Senate Floor is now displayed on the homepage:
- Congress.gov displays current Congressional activity on the homepage, including current-day bill, nomination, and treaty record links for items considered by the House and Senate.
- The start and end time of next and previous House and Senate daily chamber sessions will display on the homepage.
Enhancement - Member Profiles:
- URLS now display BioGuide IDs.
Enhancement - Appropriations Table:
- Per user feedback, the appropriation tables have been revised and now include additional fields, such as subcommittee information.
New feature – Congress.gov Resources
- Congress.gov Resources enhances the accessibility and comprehension of Congress.gov content through a variety of information curated by information professionals at the Library of Congress.
- The new section features enhanced access to the top-ten most viewed bills, as well as an archive.
New Feature - House Committee Hearing Videos
- The House Committee video live streams and archives are now available in Congress.gov. They may be accessed through a landing page and through Committee profile pages.
Improvement – Advanced Search:
- The new advanced search adds support for a number of additional fields, including nominations, Congressional Record, and member. Additional legislative fields are also supported.
- The bioguide ID available when searching member fields and the committee ID is now supported when searching committee fields.
- Advanced search now defaults to two open advanced search “lines.”
- A search of legislation now defaults to the current Congress.
Improvement – Browse:
- The Browse page has been restructured.
- You may now search across all Congresses in Browse.
- New reports and tables are available to display:
- Bill by Sponsor/Cosponsor
- Days in Session Calendar
- Roll Call Votes
- The bill type is now a multi-select facet.
- A “view all” version of the bill detail page is available.
- Member profile page urls support the bioguide ID.
- Committee profile pages include a Committee facet.
This release adds many new features and enhancements to existing features. The new features include: nominations, individual accounts, saved searches, and the ability to search the Congressional Record by speaker.
New feature - Nominations
Nominations have been added to the site.
- Supports cross-data-source facets Congress, Senate Committee;
- Supports nominations-specific facets nomination type, is-privileged, nomination status, nominee state
- Nomination detail page functionality supports:
- Variants for single nominee, multiple nominees, single position, multiple position, foreign service nominations, split nominations, nominations with very long lists of nominees;
- Action display in the same template as bill actions;
- Inner facets for nominee lists; nominee state, position, division.
- A nomination landing page has been added.
- Updates have been made to the home page to support nominations.
- Nominations have been added to the activity scope of the committee profile pages.
New feature - Accounts
Optional accounts are now available. Accounts facilitate access to customizable features, such as saved searches. The accounts functionality allows a user to:
- Sign up for an account using an email address, including email confirmation procedures.
- Sign in using email address and user-created password.
New feature - Saved Searches
- Saved searches allow the user to save a search from the search results page. This will be available from a basic faceted/text search, from the advanced search interface, and from the command line search interface.
- A "Saved Searches" page allows the user to modify the title/description of a search, run a saved search, or remove a saved search.
New feature - Congressional Record Speaker Element
- A new facet has been added to the Congressional Record data source. This facet will behave similarly to the existing legislative Cosponsor facet.
- A search link has been added to Member profile page which will return a list of all Congressional Record articles in which this member was speaking.
- Improved sorting of global search results: added lower level support to sort-by-date choices; added choice to sort by law number. Added number sorts to browse lists.
- "About" pages for Legislation, Committees, Committee Reports, Members, and Nominations. This new content is presented along with pre-existing "About" content into a new "About" section. A Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) page has also been added. Pages have been added to list field values for Congresses, major action codes, policy areas, and legislative subject terms.
- Added committee referral and committee reports to search results and bill detail page overview.
- Small improvements have been made to the bill detail page: improved display of titles; ordered columns on committee tab to match actions tab; adjusted display order of committee reports; and added sort to amendment tab.
- For committee names that have changed, showed the committee name at the time of the bill/amendment.
- Adjusted tracker for concurrent resolutions with resolving differences step.
New feature - Advanced Search
Implemented the first iteration of advanced search with a focus on bills, resolutions, and amendments. Items include:
- Twenty-one legislative data fields, each with support for contextually appropriate operators;
- A graphical user interface supports grouped and/or/not fielded searches;
- An entry box is available for users who prefer to learn and use the Solr syntax to compose and execute a command line search;
- Contextual help including pop-up "cheat-sheet" listing fields for command line search;
- Integration of the advanced search link into the global search box; and
- Integration of the advanced search into the search result display.
New feature - Browse
Implemented the first iteration of browsing, including browse lists for laws, bills, resolutions, and amendments; bills by subject; vetoed legislation; and legislation with committee or conference reports. All browse lists link to standard search result lists, including facets.
New feature - Appropriations Table
Appropriations are listed by Fiscal Year in a four column table that includes legislation, House Passage, Senate Passage, and Conference Approval.
Improvements - Action Tab
- Added check all, uncheck all functionality
- Chamber column for All Actions clearly distinguishes between House and Senate actions
- Various labeling changes to improve readability of the tab
- Added intro text that shows number of items (faceted and total)
Improvements - Facets
- Status of Legislation facet spans across all available content, 1973-present
- Renamed "Legislation Type" to "Bill Type"
- Removed "Law" as a facet value (this information is available via the "Status of Legislation" facet)
- Added Check All / Uncheck All functionality to multi-select facets.
This release added bill summary and status (BSS) data for the 93rd-102nd Congresses for bills, and for the 97th-102nd Congresses for amendments. The Legislation Collection now dates from 1973 forward.
This release centered on the transition of THOMAS to Congress.gov. The main URLS for THOMAS ( http://www.thomas.gov ,http://thomas.gov and http://thomas.loc.gov ) were redirected to Congress.gov ( http://beta.congress.gov ). THOMAS remains fully operational and available at the following URL: http://thomas.loc.gov/home/thomas.php. These changes will remain in effect until late 2014, when the transition is completed and THOMAS is scheduled to be retired.
The focus of this release is on improvements to the web interface as well as infrastructure and operations.
Improvements - Search
- Global search menu pull down is defaulted to Current Legislation with other drop down group options for current legislation, all legislation, all sources, and specific sources (Members, Congressional Record, Committee Reports).
- Default facet selections now include: Legislation and the Current Congress.
- Congress facet is now multi-select.
- Improved labeling of object types in search results.
- Improved display of search result summary.
- Phrase searching has been improved.
Improvements - Legislation
- Committee reports are now linked from the Committees tab of the legislative detail page.
- Text of a Congressional Record article displays in amendment text tab when result is only one matching article (previously it resulted in list format).
- "In Committee" and "No Value" committee activities are now suppressed on the Committees tab of the legislative detail page.
- Type of legislation label now included on legislative detail page.
- Reduced the size of the bill overview box on the legislative detail page.
- Improved display of timestamps on Actions tab.
Improvements - Committees
- Committee landing page now includes committees other than standing committees, and provides links to committee profile pages for Special and Select committees.
- Committee profile pages for Senate committees now include a link to a page containing membership and subcommittee lists.
General improvements to the site (among others)
- Added "Constitution of the United States of America: Analysis and Interpretation" to the U.S. Founding Documents.
- Added downloadable legislative process video image.
- Improved styling of leadership carousel on home page.
- State and party are now listed for Senators in the leadership carousel on home page.
Committee Reports (New)
- Committee Reports were added and date back to 1995 with the beginning of the 104th Congress.
- Committee Reports are available for global search with facets for Congress, Chamber, and Committee.
- A Committee Reports landing page provides an overview section with a report-lookup tool sorted by report type and citation number.
- The search result listing appears in the lower half of the landing page and offers faceted searching options targeted to Committee Reports, including a report type facet, and a conference report facet.
- Committee Report detail pages display single and multi-part reports with sidebars that include links to related reports, a link to the Committee Reports landing page, and a list of other bills referenced in the report.
- Navigational display option is available for multiple-part reports and provides links to PDF versions of the report.
NOTE: Executive reports are not included in this release but will appear when treaty data is imported in a future release.
Committee Pages (New)
- A new Standing Committees landing page is available, listing general information about standing committees.
- All House and Senate standing committees for the current Congress are available with links to specific Committee pages.
- Each standing committee page includes an overview section which lists legislation recently considered by the committee, as well as links to meeting schedules, live video (House committees only), and the official committee website.
- A search result listing in the lower half of the page provides faceted searching options targeted to legislation and reports associated with the relevant committee.
Enhancements to the Legislative and Amendment Detail Pages
- Timestamps are now displayed for those actions for which we receive a timestamp from the chamber.
- Bill summary text now includes embedded links.
- The listing of Committee Report articles on the text tab of the amendment detail page was enhanced to more precisely guide the user to the correct page in the Congressional Record on which the amendment text appears.
- Data missing messages have been tweaked on the amendment detail page to better reflect the difference between Senate and House amendment procedures. The title of the bill being amended has been added to the overview. The amendments-to-this-amendment tab no longer displays when there are zero results for this tab.
Enhancements to the Congressional Record pages
- Congressional Record back data (1995-2000) was loaded.
- Embedded links to the Congressional Record (via page and page range links) are available and complete; this process began with the April release and improvements made during this release completed the task.
- Inactive dates are no longer clickable in the Congressional Record year/page selector.
General improvements to the site (among others)
- Sorting of search results is available; the results can be sorted by date, document number, or title.
- Search within results is available, allowing users the ability to add multiple search terms to an already faceted result set.
- Limited boolean and field search is available through the global search box.
- Legislative glossary is now linked from the header.
Legislative and amendment detail pages
- All legislative action steps are included on the Actions tab which offers three levels of details - major actions; all actions; all actions including floor amendment actions.
- While viewing all actions, there are several beneficial facets; and improved presentation of action type, actor, and action text.
- A new tab on the amendment detail page displays the articles that appear within the Congressional Record on which the amendment text was published.
- Congressional Record article references from within action text and notes are linked to a display of the articles on that page (or page range) within the Record.
- Committees on the Committees tab are sorted in order of referral.
- Related bill descriptions have been improved, and related bills are sorted by bill type and number.
Enhancements to the Congressional Record pages
- Congressional Record coverage has expanded to include the 107th Congress (2001) going forward.
- There is a new browse-by-date page which provides links to all issues of the Record by date within a user-friendly expandable/collapsible navigational tool.
- Daily Digest pages can be accessed via the year/page selector.
- The Daily Digest tab includes links to legislative and amendment detail pages, roll call votes, and pages in the Congressional Record.
- A URL shortcut is supported for the year/page selector.
General improvements to the site
- Captions have been added to the legislative process videos.
On January 23, 2013 the Congressional Record, published by the Government Printing Office (GPO), and cost-estimate reports from the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) were launched to supplement bills, bill summaries, Member profiles and legislative history information already available on the site.
At launch, the Congressional Record from the 112th Congress is available, as well as records from the beginning of the 113th Congress and going forward. The Congressional Record from previous Congresses going back to 1994 will be added during future updates. Highlights include:
- A Congressional Record landing page that will default to the most recent available issue;
- A persistent navigation header that will display details about the currently displayed issue, including link to PDF for the full issue;
- Ability to navigate the Record via date selection or year/volume and page;
- A webpage displaying one issue of the Record, including tabs for each of the sections available for that issue: Daily Digest, House, Senate, Extensions of Remarks;
- A tabbed view of each section of an issue of the Record, listing all articles within that section;
- Detailed viewing of an article, including a link to the PDF for the page(s) containing the article;
- Page view - listing all articles that begin on a particular page; and
- Page range view - listing all articles that begin on a specific range of pages.
CBO Cost Estimates
All bills from 2001 through the present that have a CBO Cost Estimate will now include a "CBO Cost Estimate" link to the right of the Overview section on the legislative detail page. This will open a pop-up that displays a list of associated CBO Cost Estimates, with a link to the CBO page displaying that report.
Highlights of minor updates include:
- Member profiles search order tuning;
- Clarification of "Party history" for Members who have changed party;
- Leadership designations on Member profile pages where appropriate;
- Fine-tune display of website and contact information for current Members;
- Retention of user source selection when searching on legislation or Member landing pages;
- Improvement of presentation of "more" page for sponsor/cosponsor; and
- Release of three additional legislative process videos - Introduction and Referral of Bills, Committee Consideration, and Calendar and Scheduling.
Minor updates were made to the system that included:
- A new citation normalizing filter that recognizes variants of citations for bill number searching (e.g., H.R.1, HR1, H.R. 1, HR 1)
- The addition of a "status of amendment" facet to the amendment tabs on legislative and amendment detail pages
- Inclusion of glossary term links in the transcripts for all legislative process videos
- Introducing Congress.gov (external link) trailer published.
The initial launch included bill status and summary, as well as bill text files from the 107th Congress (2001) to the present, member profiles from the 93rd Congress (1973) to the present, and some member profiles from the 80th through the 92nd Congresses (1947 to 1972).