How to Track Legislative Memes

Legislation is how ideas are put into a format that Congress can process and transform into law. Some ideas are introduced again and again, but in different formats or at different times. Some bills in one chamber of Congress may have a nearly identical version introduced in the other. The same bill can be introduced again and again over multiple Congresses until it is enacted into law. Or a group of legislative ideas can be rolled together into a larger legislative package.

I like to think of ideas contained in legislation as legislative memes, which is a powerful way to understand what Congress is doing. We are working on a legislative tool, call BillMap, that allows you to track legislative memes as they move through Congress.

Continue Reading

Recap of Bulk Data Task Force Meeting on July 14, 2021

The Bulk Data Task Force met on July 14, 2021, for the first quarterly meeting since October 2019, which is just before the COVID pandemic began. The virtual meeting included presentations from the House of Representatives, the Library of Congress, GPO, the Senate, and Demand Progress Education Fund. Video from the 2-hour long proceedings are […]

Continue reading...

Statute Compilations Now Available in USLM

Today GPO announced that statute compilations are now available online (here) in USLM XML. A statute compilation is a document that contains a law originally passed by Congress and shows how later legislation has amended the law.

Continue reading...

Library of Congress to host virtual public forum on updates to legislative data services

The Library of Congress will host a virtual public form on federal legislative information services on September 2, 2021, starting at 1PM ET. RSVP here. This is the second — and last — forum required of the Library by House Legislative Branch Appropriators “to facilitate public input into the Library’s legislative information services and how […]

Continue reading...

The Recap: Library of Congress Virtual Public Forum

On September 10, 2020, the Library of Congress held a Virtual Public Forum on the Library’s role in providing access to legislative information. The forum was held at the direction of the House Committee on Appropriations pursuant to its report accompanying the FY 2020 Legislative Branch Appropriations Bill. Per the legislative language, there will be […]

Continue reading...

News: Upgrades to EveryCRSReport.com

This past week we upgraded our EveryCRSReport website, which as of this writing contains approximately 17,700 reports. By comparison, the official CRS website has only around 8,500 reports. The result is that we will continue to provide you the most up-to-date CRS reports as well as an extensive archive.

Continue reading...

Library of Congress to host virtual meeting on its legislative information services

On Thursday, September 10th, the Library of Congress will host its first-ever virtual forum on the Library’s legislative information services at 10 a.m. ET. (Follow the link to RSVP).

Continue reading...

Recommendations to the Library of Congress: Legislative Information Services and How They Could Be Improved

In anticipation of next week’s Virtual Public Forum hosted by the Library of Congress, we submitted the following recommendations to the Library of Congress on how it could improve its Legislative Information Services. The report is available online here. The recommendations cover the following five categories: Publish Information as Data Put the Legislative Process in […]

Continue reading...

Drafting Legislation Just Got Easier. Introducing BillToText.com

Drafting legislation in Congress can be a daunting process. Typically, staffers provide an outline of the desired bill to the Office of Legislative Counsel (OLC), and an OLC attorney drafts the legislation. This often is an iterative process, with OLC asking questions and congressional staff updating their ideas. This process can create problems for staff […]

Continue reading...

Bulk Data Task Force Reports Major Strides at October 2019 Meeting

The Bulk Data Task Force (BDTF) is essentially the justice league of legislative data.  The task force convenes each quarter, bringing together the people in charge of managing Legislative Branch data—like the House Clerk, Secretary of the Senate, GPO, and Library of Congress—as well as outside stakeholders. Together the group works to make legislative data […]

Continue reading...