OpenCongress Gets New Owner and Refresh

One of my favorite sites for tracking the U.S. Congress is OpenCongress, an open-source project that draws on a variety of sources, from official government websites to blogs, to track federal legislation and members of Congress. (See my original post about OpenCongress.)

OpenCongress was launched in 2007 as a joint project of the Sunlight Foundation and the Participatory Politics Foundation. Now, the Sunlight Foundation has announced that it has assumed sole operation of the site and has given the site a refresh that adds new data and features. (The change in ownership actually happened last May.)

Features of the refreshed site, according to the announcement, include:

  • Bills. Read, follow and share your opinion on legislation from both the Senate and House of Representatives. Sift through the legislation by most-viewed bills on the site, recent activity and more.
  • Representatives and senators. See a profile of every lawmaker, call or message their offices, track their votes and bill sponsorships, connect with their official social media accounts, see recent fundraisers, watch their YouTube videos and review campaign donations.
  • Votes. See the “ayes” and “nays” broken down by political party for all floor actions and compare two lawmakers to one another using the Head-to-Head tool.
  • Issues. Find bills by more than 4,000 issue areas using the classification system designed by the Congressional Research Service. Create a widget for an issue you’re interested in and customize it to add to your own website.
  • Committees. Follow the work of House and Senate committees and see what members serve on each one. Find bills the committee is considering, reports they issue and delve into the activities of subcommittees.
  • Groups. OpenCongress has a built-in social network to connect users around a certain issue or location. When you register for the site, you will automatically join the group for your state and congressional district and you can join or create other groups.

For anyone interested in learning more about OpenCongress, the Sunlight Foundation is hosting a free webinar tomorrow, Nov. 5, at 1 p.m. ET.