The beta version of the site contains legislation 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).
Congress.gov is in an initial beta phase with plans to transform the Library of Congress's existing congressional information system into a modern, durable and user-friendly resource. Eventually, it will incorporate all of the information available on THOMAS.gov. (To compare the scope of legislative information on THOMAS.gov versus the scope of legislative information on the beta site, see Coverage Dates for Legislative Information.) Although THOMAS.gov has been updated multiple times since its release in 1995, the foundation of the system can no longer support the capabilities today's users have come to expect. The goal is to make the site user- friendly with a strong technical infrastructure.
What are the most recent enhancements to Congress.gov?
April 2013 Release
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 will present 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 will be 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.
Additional data will be incorporated over time. Congressional reports and Committee information will be included next, followed by other data, such as the Congressional Record Index, House and Senate Calendars, nominations, treaties, and other communications.
What legislative information is on Congress.gov?
Each piece of legislation has a landing page with tabs to help users find key information for the bill. Tabs take users to the following information: summary, major actions, titles, amendments, cosponsors, committees, and related bills.
The actions, amendments and cosponsors information for a bill can be filtered by useful criteria such as major actions, votes, amendment status, and cosponsor state and party.
The Congressional Record
The Congressional Record, a substantially verbatim account of remarks made during the proceedings of the House and Senate, is available from the 107th Congress (2001) going forward. The Government Printing Office (GPO) publishes new issues of the Congressional Record daily and transmits each new issue to the Library of Congress overnight. A new issue becomes available on Congress.gov the following morning.
The Congressional Record page defaults to the most recent issue with the tab for the Daily Digest selected and displayed below. There are tabs for all of the sections that were printed on that day. Additionally, you can search the Congressional Record from this page or find an issue by date or year and page number. When searching all sources on Congress.gov, the Congressional Record will be included in search results with legislation and Members of Congress.
Profiles of Members of Congress
All Members since 1973 and some members from 1947-1972 can be filtered by state, Congress, House or Senate, party, or Members currently serving.
Member landing pages include a picture (when available), biography, years and Congresses served, the Member's state and district (Representatives only), party history, Member website link, and other key data.
Additionally, a display of the legislation sponsored or cosponsored follows each Member's landing page.
The Legislative Process
Designed for the general public, this section contains fun and educational videos that provide a basic outline of the steps involved in the legislative process. These videos include: overview of the legislative process; introduction and referral of a bill; committee consideration; calendars and scheduling; House floor; Senate Floor; executive business in the Senate; bicameral resolution; and presidential action.
THOMAS.gov was the original website created by the Library of Congress to provide complete legislative information from the United States Congress.
As the Congress.gov project progresses, all of the information on THOMAS.gov will be integrated into the beta site.
Check Out Member Profiles
Not available on THOMAS.gov, profiles for Members of Congress are featured on the beta site.
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