It’s Time for Congress to Publish CRS Reports

This morning the New York Times editorialized in favor of public access to Congressional Research Service reports. Given the extreme partisanship and gridlock in Congress, it’s more crucial than ever to have an informed electorate. Putting these reports in the public domain is an important step toward that goal. Over the years our coalition has submitted testimony […]

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Senate Preview of the Next Day’s Floor Schedule and Activity Wrap-up

While leadership for Democrats and Republicans in the House of Representatives send email floor alerts for the upcoming day’s legislative activities (and House Dems have a neat new mobile app), the Senate does not. Senate Democrats and Republicans publish on the web a daily summary of the prior day’s activities and what they expect will […]

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Meet “Whip Watch”

Yesterday congressional Democrats released “Whip Watch,” an app that provides the public (and congressional staffers) a real-time mobile view into the Democrats’ whip operation. Most notably, it includes a live floor feed showing upcoming votes, with links to bills and amendments, and an extensive list of job announcements for House Democratic offices. Also included are the […]

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Legislink Goes Back in Time (and Bicameral)

The free roll call vote comparison tool Legislink has gone bicameral and back in time. It now is possible to compare roll call votes in the House and Senate going back to 1990. Previously, the site only worked for the House and only went back to 2003. Developer Joe Carmel extended the vote data by […]

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Legisletters: A Hub for Congressional Correspondence

This week GovLab beta launched a new tool, Legisletters, which automatically gathers congressional correspondence with agencies and publishes it in a searchable, user-friendly interface. The project is the brainchild of Travis Moore and Andrew Miller, with some advice from me, and was magnificently developed by John Krauss at GovLab.

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Events announcement: Learn Akoma Ntoso

Here is information about three upcoming events concerning Akoma Ntoso and Legal XML for Semantic Web techniques.

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Congress and HTTPS

House Committees

Earlier this week our friends at the Sunlight Foundation released a report that concluded “only 15 percent of congressional websites are HTTPS ready.” The use of HTTPS reduces the risk of interception or modification of user interactions with government online services. Coincidentally, building a congressional HTTPS dashboard is on our congressional tools wish list, and I was […]

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Learning from #Hack4Congress

Hack4Congress Panel

The Tuesday, May 12 #Hack4Congress awards ceremony at the House of Representatives’ majestic Judiciary Committee hearing room was the culmination of a 6 month long effort to engage technologically savvy members of the public with making Congress more open and efficient. The three winners of congressional data hackathons in Cambridge, San Francisco, and Washington, D.C. […]

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Emerging Standards of Parliamentary Accountability Panel Discussion

by Júlia Keserű The 3rd International Open Government Data Conference in Ottawa is part of a full week of open data events. Alongside the pre-conference events, the National Democratic Institute, the Sunlight Foundation, and the Latin American Network on Legislative Transparency, as core partners in OpeningParliament.org, a community of civic organizations dedicated to opening up parliamentary data, will […]

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New tool: Roll Call Vote Comparisons

Member Votes table

The indefatigable Joe Carmel, creator of LegisLink, just unveiled a new tool for comparison of House Roll Call Votes. Drawing on a combination of official source material and prior work by Josh Tauberer (of GovTrack fame), the Roll Call Comparison Tool allows the easy comparison of two roll call votes, even if they don’t take place […]

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