Developments from the Congressional Data Task Force Meeting on March 14, 2023

The Congressional Data Task Force convened on March 14, 2023, to discuss a range of topics related to the use and management of data within the legislative branch. The meeting, which included representatives from various government offices and civil society organizations, highlighted several new and interesting developments. Go here for video and slides from the presentations.

Among the highlights:

  • Implementation of the Access to Congressionally Mandated Reports Act is due by the end of the year
  • The Library of Congress is planning to update/release an API for committee meetings, hearings, and committee prints by the end of 2022
  • The House Statements of Disbursements will soon be published as CSV with a number of new identifiers
  • The House Digital Service is planning for the upcoming Congressional Hackathon
  • The Senate is continuing to make progress on the availability of its video

Government Publishing Office (GPO)

Lisa LaPlante, Program Manager at GovInfo, announced the release of more House and Senate Committee prints. She also mentioned the introduction of an XML link for Public Laws and the announcement of a new version of the USLM schema, 2.0.11.

Matt Landgraf from the GPO discussed the upcoming XPub release for congressional bills and laws. This new format will replace the ASCII text file with a responsive design, making it easier to process hearings and reports for committees. The GPO is also working on creating standard Word Templates and structured data format outlets. The major push for later this year is getting bills on XPub, but committees will be a gradual process. Pilots for committee reports will probably start early next year.

This project is currently working on prototyping to make the process easier for hearings and reports for the committee. This includes creating standard Word templates. It is currently in the conceptual phase, with modeling to be undertaken later this year. Samples are available at

The Access to Congressionally Mandated Reports Act, which was enacted as part of the FY 2023 NDAA, is in the planning and design phase for implementation. The deadline for implementation is the end of 2023.

GPO has provided about 400 unique keys to access the GovInfo API in FY22.

Will pre-1995 bil text be available on GPO’s website? This is a possible topic for future discussion, along with digitization across the legislative branch.

Office of the Legislative Counsel (OLRC)

Brian Lindsay from the OLRC shared plans to develop a new suite of editorial tools that will take ULSM as input and output. This will hopefully include a real-time print preview feature. Wade Ballou from the same office discussed ongoing work on tagging for USLM and transitioning to the OLRC using a more recent version of USLM to address building resolutions and amendments.

Library of Congress

Abby Weiss from the Library of Congress announced the release of a Senate Communications API and the addition of House Communications requirements. The Library of Congress is also planning to update/release an API for committee meetings, hearings, and committee prints by the end of 2023. Other enhancements include a new Member activity filter, shortened URLs for searches, and a new search field for CBO cost estimates.

We are particularly excited to note that, with the help of GPO, has now automated the pulling and embedding of Senate amendments on

The Library was not able to answer whether floor information will be integrated on as was directed by appropriators. It also did not answer the question on public access to historical CRS reports and publishing current reports as HTML.

Clerk of the House

The Clerk’s office announced that as of February 1, all joint resolutions need a single subject statement.

They also discussed the release of the comparative print project house-wide in October, which shows how an amendment impacts a bill and the differences more granularly. When asked about whether the output of the comparative print would be made public, the Clerk indicated they could move in that direction but are not ready to do so yet. They hoped to get to the point where the track-changes document could be routinely made publicly available.

Secretary of the Senate

Arin Sharpio from the Secretary of the Senate’s office shared progress on efforts to improve the transfer, preservation, and access of congressional videos. They are trying to set up MOUs and subdivide some of the tasks to move things forward. There is also increasing interest in providing committee URLs and the data feed to The secretary hopes to reincorporate the video archive in a major legislative branch website.

House CAO

The work is completed on providing Statements of Disbursements online as a CSV with a number of new identifiers. The CAO did receive feedback on whether to include unique IDs for individual staffers, and that is a determination that will be made by the House Administration Committee.

The House Digital Service is working to coordinate the next congressional hackathon, with Steve Dwyer as the point of contact.

The HDS also is building a product for committees to deconflict their schedules so members don’t need to be in the same place at time. Working on prototyping through March. Ken Ward with the digital service demoed a prototype; the live service will be at

Other Noteworthy Developments

The meeting also touched on the lag time between when the President signs a law and when it appears in the official record. This delay is due to the manual process of classifying and integrating the law into the US Code. (We note that NARA gives the law its public law number.) The end of each Congress presents a significant challenge, with a large rush of laws enacted in the final days of the Congress — 63% of the pages enacted were from the period of Dec. 19th to the end of the Congress.

At the next meeting, GAO will plan to present its work. Also at the meeting is expected a discussion on standardization of committee votes.

The next quarterly meeting is scheduled for June 22 — RSVP here — promising further discussions and updates on these and other data-related initiatives within the legislative branch.

Prior Meetings for which we’ve published a summary

2022: December 2022 | September CDTF Meeting | September LC Virtual Public Forum | June CDTF | March BDTF | April Hackathon

2021: July BDTF | September LC Virtual Public Forum

2020: September LC Virtual Public Forum

2019: July BDTF | October BDTF |

2018: February 2018 (available upon request) | June LDTC | November BDTF |

2017: April BDTF (available upon request | June BDTF (available upon request) | December Hackathon

2016: May BDTF | June LDTC (and this)

2015: May LDTC | October Hackathon

2014: February BDTF | June LDTC | December BDTF

2013: February BDTF | May LDTC |

2012: April LDTC |