January 25, 2022

July 2013 Update: New Content and Enhancements Now Live on Congress.gov

An impressive list of new content and enhancements recently made to the Congress.gov site (aka the replacement for THOMAS) was made available.

What’s New (July 2013)

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)

  • 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 will provide 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 will now include embedded links.
  • The listing of Committee Report articles on the text tab of the amendment detail page will be 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 will no longer display when there are zero results for this tab.

Enhancements to the Congressional Record pages:

  • Embedded links to the Congressional Record (via page and page range links) will be completed; this was begun with the April release and improvements being made during this release will complete 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 will be added; the results can be sorted by date, document number, or title.
  • Search within results will be added, allowing users the ability to add multiple search terms to an already faceted result set.
  • Limited boolean and field search will be made available through the global search box.

Andrew Weber from the Law Library of Congress has posted screenshots and additional info about the July 2013 update on the In Custodia Legis blog.

Even More

Here are a few additional resources to make your time using Congress.gov even more productive.

About Gary Price

Gary Price (gprice@mediasourceinc.com) is a librarian, writer, consultant, and frequent conference speaker based in the Washington D.C. metro area. Before launching INFOdocket, Price and Shirl Kennedy were the founders and senior editors at ResourceShelf and DocuTicker for 10 years. From 2006-2009 he was Director of Online Information Services at Ask.com, and is currently a contributing editor at Search Engine Land.