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How to Listen to Congress.gov Pages

Congress.gov allows some content to be read out loud to you. This is useful if you have trouble reading text online, reading on a device with a small screen, or simply want to listen to text while doing other things. You can also download the text as an MP3 file for later use. The Listen feature is currently enabled for bills that have at least one bill summary, bill texts, the Daily Digest of the Congressional Record, and committee reports.

How does it work?

Listen to a bill summary, bill text, the Daily Digest of the Congressional Record, or a committee report

Click the Listen button:
Screenshot of listen button

An audio player appears (see image below) and it starts reading the text of the webpage out loud.
Screenshot of the control panel

In the player you can:

  • Pause/restart the reading
  • Stop the reading
  • Use the progress bar to navigate in the audio
  • Adjust the volume
  • Click the settings icon to adjust the behavior of the service
  • Click the download icon to download the audio file
  • Close the player

You can use tab/shift+tab to navigate inside the player and press enter to activate a certain button or link.

Listen to selected text

You can select a part of the text that you want to listen to and then press the pop-up Listen button that appears next to the mouse pointer. When you click the pop-up Listen button, an audio player appears (see the image below) and the player starts reading the text you have selected. To select text, move your mouse over it while holding down the left mouse button.
Screenshot of pop-up player

Settings

In the settings menu, you can choose:

  • to have the text highlighted while read, on words or sentences
  • style and colors for the highlighting
  • to display the current sentence at the bottom of the page, with a larger font size and simultaneous text highlighting
  • reading speed to be slow, medium, or fast
  • to scroll automatically to follow the highlighted text
  • to display the pop-up Listen button when text is selected
  • to restore all settings to original defaults

You can also listen to the settings by clicking the Listen button at the top right of the Settings menu.

Screenshot of the settings page