What You Need to Know About the November 2018 Bulk Data Task Force Meeting

This past Thursday’s Bulk Data Task Force meeting had a ton of info about technology in Congress. Here are some highlights:

Info about newly elected members of the House will be online in a structured data format from the House Clerk’s office by Nov. 13, and updated weekly thereafter, an amazing turnaround for data that historically has been hard to come by until January.

The Library is behind on publishing CRS reports. All “R series” reports should be up by the end of April, with the remaining reports expected by Sept. 30th. The statutory deadline was this past Sept. 18th. As of Sunday, CRSReports.Congress.gov had 1,251 reports. In the meantime, you can read all the current reports at EveryCRSReport.com.

A consolidated calendar for House and Senate meetings won’t be launched by the Library for the December 21st deadline, but a first phase will be completed in the first quarter (i.e. by Friday, March 29); it is expected to include information about all congressional proceedings. Integration of links to videos of proceedings may take longer. In the meantime, use GovTrack’s congressional committee calendar.

The refresh of Bioguide.Congress.gov — the website containing the names, photos, and biographies of every member of Congress — is on track. By the end of the March 2019, the information will be published as structured data and put on a secure (HTTPS) website. The long term goal is to create a publicly available API.

The House’s Truth in Testimony forms will become webforms. For now, they’ll generate PDFs that the committees will post individually to their webpages, but the long term goal is for the data to go into a central repository for publication, making it possible to track people as they testify before multiple committees.

GPO released an initial set of 40 Statute Compilations as a pilot on govinfo last week. More is coming. The compilation includes public laws that either do not appear in the U.S. Code or that have been classified to a title of the U.S. Code that has not been enacted into positive law.

Want to see how a draft bill would change the law in real time? The House is still working on it. The target date for making that tool available to Congressional staff is the end of 2019. And to the public? No date is set.

A few quick resources :

— GPO’s Developer Hub is a great resource for data stored on govinfo.gov.

— The Leg Branch Innovation Hub highlights tech-friendly leg branch activities. It includes info on bulk data task force meetings.

— Interested as Congress.gov rolls out new features? They’ve got a listserv for that.

We should note that five of the projects described above were required either in the FY 2017 or FY 2018 legislative branch appropriations bills. When the video from the proceedings are available, we will include it below.

Recap of the 2018 Legislative Data and Transparency Conference

Congress held its sixth annual Legislative Data and Transparency Conference this past week. Lest we forget, these conference are extraordinary. Hosted by the House of Representatives Committee on House Administration, it pulls together the vast majority of the internal and external Congressional stakeholders to talk in detail about the House and Senate’s operations. It provides […]

Continue reading...

House Legislative Data and Transparency Conference Announced

The House will be holding its sixth annual Legislative Data and Transparency Conference. If you haven’t been before, the conference focuses on the Congress’s efforts to make legislative information available to the public as data, and provides an opportunity to hear from and meet with the people working on making it happen. To RSVP for […]

Continue reading...

House Passes the Best Leg Branch Approps Bill in 8 Years

On Friday, the House of Representatives passed the best legislative branch appropriations bill since Republicans took power in 2010. Unlike many prior appropriations bills, which often undermined the House’s capacity to govern through deep budget cuts, this legislation contained provisions to strengthen the House and set the stage for further improvements. In addition, it was created […]

Continue reading...

Save the Date: Bulk Data Task Force Meeting February 8

The House of Representatives will hold its next Bulk Data Task Force meeting February 8 from 10:30-12. More information to come.

Continue reading...

What should be included in a GPO (Title 44) Reform Bill

The Committee on House Administration is working on legislation to reauthorize and reform the Government Publishing Office, holding four hearing on “Transforming the GPO for the 21st Century” over the past year. (1, 2, 3, 4). It would not be surprising if a reform bill were to be introduced soon. The Congressional Data Coalition has […]

Continue reading...

Recap of the Third Congressional Hackathon

On Thursday the House held its third Congressional hackathon–and it was an even bigger success than last time. (See our recap of #1 and #2.) The hackathon cemented the bipartisan nature of using technology to open up Congress (with opening speeches by Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy and Democratic Whip Steny Hoyer); included the participation of […]

Continue reading...

Congressional Hackathon Set for Nov. 30

House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy and House Democratic Whip Steny Hoyer are hosting the Third Congressional Hackathon on Thursday, Nov. 30 from 2-6 pm in the U.S. Capitol Building. RSVP here. The event will bring together a bipartisan group of Members of Congress, Congressional staff, Legislative Branch agency staff, open government and transparency advocates, civic […]

Continue reading...

What’s in the FY2018 House legislative branch appropriation?

By: Casey Burgat The House Appropriations Committee approved Fiscal Year 2018 appropriations via a June 29 voice vote. The bill calls for $3.58 billion of funding for House and joint-chamber operations (Senate-specific items are not included), a full $100 million more than the enacted FY2017 funding levels. It should, however, be noted that the FY2018 appropriation is much lower than the […]

Continue reading...

New Madison Prizes to Honor Compromise in Congress

Rep. David Skaggs and his wife Laura established a new award for legislators who advance the public interest through compromise. More details (press release) below.

Continue reading...