This is what open data can do. Check out Legislative Explorer, an interactive visualization that allows anyone to explore actual patterns of lawmaking in Congress, compare bills and resolutions introduced by Senators and Representatives and follow their progress from the beginning to the end of a two year Congress. You can filter by topic, type of legislation, chamber, party, member, or even search for a specific bill.
Legislative Explorer draws from an underlying relational database that includes information about the legislative histories, topics and sponsors of more than 250,000 bills and resolutions (1973-present). The database is updated nightly to reflect changes in the status of current bills.
- The Library of Congress, THOMAS website (including Congress.gov)
- E. Scott Adler and John Wilkerson, The Congressional Bills Project
- Josh Tauberer, Govtrack.us and Unitedstates/Congress GitHub
- Charles Stewart and Jonathon Woon, Congressional Committees dataset
- Keith Poole, VoteView
Legislative Explorer data is updated nightly. More detailed descriptions of the data sources and bulk downloads are available at: http://cappp.org/index.php/data.
HT to Cass Hartnett who posted about this on govdoc-l.