Recap of Congressional Data Task Force Meeting on June 6, 2024

The Congressional Data Task Force held its second quarterly meeting on Thursday, June 6, 2024. The agenda and other resources are available online and we expect video and slides will be published soon. The next Congressional Data Task Force meeting is scheduled for December 12, 2024. 

Normally, there would be a CDTF meeting between now and then, but instead during the week of September 16th there will be a Congressional Hackathon, date TBD, co-hosted by Speaker Johnson, Minority Leader Jeffries, and the CAO. Also expected in September will be the annual public meeting between the Library of Congress and congressional data stakeholders. 

In addition, Bussola Tech’s Luis Kimaid announced an event focused on AI in Parliaments to be hosted in Washington, D.C. at the Organization of American States on October 17th and 18th. It will focus on the modernization efforts in parliaments, AI and services, leveraging AI for public engagement, and more.

Besides the welcome announcement of the hackathon, there were not as many new items at this meeting as at the previous. I’ve summarized the highlights below.

The Library of Congress confirmed that it would make CRS reports publicly available in HTML formats as required by law by the statutory deadline, which is March of next year. The House Legislative Branch Appropriations Committee report for FY 2024, on p. 26, directed the Librarian of Congress to make publish in HTML the most recent version of all non-confidential CRS reports published on “within one year of the enactment of this legislation.” The underlying law. P.L. 118-42, was enacted on March 9, 2024.

Updating information about members and members-elect is a frequent concern as we go into the new Congress. The House Clerk’s office addressed efforts to modernize LIMS (the legislative information management system) as well as deploying new updates to the Member Bioguide website that should help facilitate these efforts as well as update information currently available on those systems. In addition, the member information system (MIS), which manages member and committee information, will be merged into LIMS, saving the Clerk substantial time re-keying data and providing for faster and better data exchanges.

The creation of a new committee portal was also discussed by the Clerk’s office, with the exciting news that the effort will be kicking off this month and they’re working to onboard vendor staff. The committee portal brings together a number of threads of work advocated by appropriators and the modernization committee: the tracking of votes in committees in a central website, tracking legislative histories of bills, providing support for the uploading of witness testimony and publication of hearing information, deconflicting the scheduling of proceedings and so on. Regular updates on progress with respect to votes is on the modernization reports website.

A new lobbying disclosure system is moving forward, which was also discussed at the March meeting. One key element is developing a system to uniquely identify lobbyists. The Clerk’s office provided information that there’s now an “executive decision board” with components of the House and Senate to make recommendations on how it would work; the system is being built on top of the Senate’s existing system. There’s no word on a timeline for implementation, and regular updates are published on the house modernization reports website.

Co-drafting legislation is the next big task now that the House has completed and implemented the comparative print suite. Offices leading this project, including the Clerk and Legislative Counsel, have received funds and will be publishing a RFI later this month on building a tool to help congressional offices and other stakeholders co-draft legislation.

Staying on the Comparative Print Project, the Secretary of the Senate updated the CDTF that a pilot group has been formed and the Senate is working out some minor technical issues with respect to confirming Senate XML to work with the House-built tool. As you know, the comparative print suite allows a user to see how an amendment would change a bill or a bill would change a law. Once the Senate’s Lexa tool is updated, the Senate will start its comparative print pilot project, which is limited to 150 people because of issues w/r/t licenses. It is hoped that Senate staffers will be able to ingest individually drafted XML documents to compare against other legislation. So far, there’s no word on whether any of the underlying technology or the comparative print suite itself can be made publicly available.

HouseCal, a new tool under development by the House Digital Service, makes it possible for House staff to overlay onto their calendar all the proceedings related to a committee, subcommittee, or caucus, including those that relate to an individual member. This means busy House staff would be able to see in real time all the proceedings their boss is supposed to attend. The tool leveraged the data on The tool will soon be unveiled to all House staff – it lives at gov – and runs on public data. It’s my hope that the data from committee and caucus proceedings can be made publicly available in an iCal format, and that the Senate joins in as well.

The Congressional Staff Directory, another project pushed forward by the Modernization Committee and by Appropriators, continues to move forward. As previously indicated it has received funding and the alpha version is finished. The hardest part is getting the data in order, and as we mentioned last time, the Senate is the outlier in providing that chamber’s data. It is hoped that there will be something to show off publicly at the next meeting.

The Flag Tracker, a tool whereby staff can track the status of their requests for flags to be flown over the Capitol, was demonstrated by the CAO. The project was built on a low code system and was ready to pilot within 3 months. It’s hoped there will soon be a portal for constituents to track their orders in real time. It wasn’t discussed at the meeting, but a few weeks ago at a Senate appropriations hearing the Senate SAA indicated they were looking at implementing a flag tracking system, although it’s unclear whether they will build something new or start with the technology developed in the House. 

Video of Senate Committee proceedings, and a report on this project, was discussed.The good news is that there’s been progress on how video of committee proceedings are managed and transferred from the Senate to the National Archives, with a joint solution identified and reportedly agreed to by all parties. As we’ve mentioned previously, there’s a long outstanding report on this project that is expected (once again) to be finalized soon. At that point, work will begin on the project. One element that will be interesting to learn about is how the recordings of Senate proceedings were mandated in the first place. At the last meeting, we saw that some recent Senate video is being incorporated into’s website, and we hope that links from older proceedings might be considered to be added as well, although we understand this is not currently planned.

Whether the Senate will make available bills online prior to a vote was touched upon at the meeting, with that ultimately being a policy matter that Senate leadership would need to address. As we’ve discussed before, it would be useful to have Senate bills and resolutions publicly available – whether from the Senate or on – prior to the votes occurring.

The Library of Congress announced it is improving the help center on There was also a discussion of the publication of metadata about historical statutes at large and slip laws, as well as potentially manually curated legislative histories. There was no word about the pilot project to use AI to summarize legislation.

GPO and XCential provided an in-depth briefing on efforts to update the USLM schema and to revisit the roadmap for what types of legislative documents to prioritize to be transformed into USLM. The Legislative Branch XML Working group hopes to have an updated roadmap for public review later on, and will soon be publishing an updated schema for public comment.

Lorelei Kelly presented her views on a LLM Legislative Branch concept map. In her words, it is a “critical data infrastructure that will iteratively create modern, public serving information architecture in Congress and the First Branch.” 

Prior Meetings for which we’ve published a summary

2024: March 2024 CDTF Meeting |

2023: March 2023 CDTF Meeting | June CDTF Meeting | September LC Virtual Public Forum | September Hackathon 5.0 | December CDTF Meeting

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 |