Congress.gov

The Library of Congress in conjunction with the Senate, House and the Government Printing Office has launched the new congress.gov website in beta. By the end of 2014 this will replace the Thomas.gov website. Thomas.gov, named for the third US president, Thomas Jefferson, began in 1995 to provide access to the legislative process as well as  information about members of Congress.

But in the last seventeen years there have been tremendous changes in online functionality. The new site will be optimized for mobile devices and for social media sharing.

The new homepage features a search box, list of the “most viewed bills”, current legislative activities and access to biographical information on the current members of Congress.  There are instructional videos on how a bill becomes a law and a gallery of historic documents.

The beta site has information for bills from 2001 (the 107th Congress) to the present and member profiles from 1973 (the 93rd Congress) and some profiles from 1947 to 1972 (80th through 92nd Congresses). There are plans to add the Congressional record, Congressional reports, nominations and treaties.

As election day approaches, you could test out this site to see what your Representative or Senator has been doing (there is contact information for each member).   Or check out the committee assignments and sponsored legislation, including the status of the legislation.

Next time you are in the library, 

please come and visit the third floor reference desk

and tell us what you think of Congress.gov.

– posted by Brenda, Reference Services

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