The U.S. Congress has launched a new official legislative information system for the U.S. federal government: Congress.gov.
According to Alex Howard of O’Reilly:
[...] the new Congress.gov features responsive design, adapting to desktop, tablet or smartphone screens. It’s also search-centric, with Boolean search and, in an acknowledgement that most of its visitors show up looking for information, puts a search field front and center in the interface. The site includes member profiles for U.S. Senators and Representatives, with associated legislative work. In a nod to a mainstay of social media and media websites, the new Congress.gov also has a “most viewed bills” list that lets visitors see at a glance what laws or proposals are gathering interest online. (You can download a fact sheet on all the changes as a PDF).
Click here for Alex’s complete post about Congress.gov.
Daniel Schuman of the Sunlight Foundation observes that Congress.gov does not provide “for public comment on the design process [or] computer-friendly bulk access to the underlying data.”
Daniel, Tom Bruce of the Legal Information Institute, and others have recently written recommendations to Congress about providing public bulk access to congressional data.
Tom and his team have been consulting with the Library of Congress on their legislative metadata, and Congress.gov appears to reflect their work. Tom describes this new approach to legislative metadata approach in a series of posts here.
Kim Nayyer of the University of Victoria Law Library has also written about Congress.gov at Slaw.ca.
Nick Judd and Miranda Neubauer have written a post about Congress.gov at TechPresident: What Congress.gov Means for a Congressional API.