Announcing the Congress API, By Andrei Scheinkman and Derek Willis, New York Times, January 8, 2009.
The initial release exposes four types of data: a list of members for a given Congress and chamber, details of a specific roll-call vote, biographical and role information about a specific member of Congress, and a member’s most recent positions on roll-call votes.
The four work together, so you can start by retrieving a list of members, find the one(s) you’re interested in and then fetch additional details through other calls. We built this service to work with other publicly available data sources, so you can identify members of Congress with a seven-character code from the Biographical Directory of the United States Congress. For individual member responses, we included the numeric ID assigned by GovTrack, a free and open-source service that monitors legislative activity.
Our data comes directly from the U.S. House and Senate Web sites, and is updated throughout the day while Congress is in session….
You have to register for an api-key to use the system, but it is free (for now). Check it out here!
(Note that this an API and returns XML so that you can build live data applications. You agree not to “archive any of the API content for access by users at any future date after you have finished using the service….” It is for building interactive applications.)
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