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Just discovered GovTrack

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  • RMunsonNJ
    Hi, I just discovered GovTrack - it showed up on a Google search. My interest is in using it - having a dashboard of following what s coming up in congress.
    Message 1 of 4 , May 5, 2005
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      Hi,

      I just discovered GovTrack - it showed up on a Google search. My
      interest is in using it - having a "dashboard" of following what's
      coming up in congress. My previous approach was to look at the Whip
      notices that come out every Monday and search Thomas from there.
      Naturally this didn't give me much lead time for the bills coming up
      or any results from voting. Govtrack does both - reporting on bills
      being placed on calendars, committee reports, and recent votes.

      Naturally, I'd like to ask for more features... Most useful would be
      a quick link to a bill's CRS Summary, since titles are not very
      informative. I've started to havve one browser open to GovTrack and
      a second to Thomas.

      Secondly, it would be nice to know what is coming up for a vote (or
      in a comittee) by date. I've heard about the House Calendars, but
      have not stumbled over a link to one. The Whip notices would be a
      good source of data.

      I'd like to make a presentation to people at our town library about
      using the internet to "send a message to congress between
      elections." Naturally GovTrack would get a lot of emphasis there.

      Bob Munson
    • Joshua Tauberer / GovTrack
      Hi, Bob. Thanks for the feedback. (And doubly thanks for posting it to the list so we can get some more activity here.) ... If you really want to get to the
      Message 2 of 4 , May 5, 2005
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        Hi, Bob. Thanks for the feedback. (And doubly thanks for posting it to
        the list so we can get some more activity here.)

        > Most useful would be
        > a quick link to a bill's CRS Summary, since titles are not very
        > informative.

        If you really want to get to the summary quickly, you can add
        "&tab=summary" to the end of the usual link to a bill on GovTrack, e.g.:

        http://www.govtrack.us/congress/bill.xpd?bill=hr109-210&tab=summary

        I'm not sure if you had somewhere in mind where you want a link like
        that to appear...?

        > Secondly, it would be nice to know what is coming up for a vote (or
        > in a comittee) by date.

        I don't know that this information exists anywhere. The calendars for
        the House and Senate are, from my understanding of it, not really
        related to the order in which matters are actually taken up. (They're
        available on the Gov't Printing Office website, www.gpo.gov.) I haven't
        spent much time looking at the web sites for the majority party, which
        might have more accurate information since they control what gets taken
        up. If you know of or find a page that has useful information, I can
        take a look.

        There's useful information on the pages for each of the committees, but
        I've never tried to integrate any of that into GovTrack because I don't
        want to create dozens of different screen-scapers, one for each
        committee. (Anyone listening looking for a way to contribute? This
        would be a very useful project...)

        > I'd like to make a presentation to people at our town library about
        > using the internet to "send a message to congress between
        > elections." Naturally GovTrack would get a lot of emphasis there.

        That's fantastic. Let me know if you need any information about anything.

        --
        - Joshua Tauberer

        http://taubz.for.net

        ** Nothing Unreal Exists **

        > Hi,
        >
        > I just discovered GovTrack - it showed up on a Google search. My
        > interest is in using it - having a "dashboard" of following what's
        > coming up in congress. My previous approach was to look at the Whip
        > notices that come out every Monday and search Thomas from there.
        > Naturally this didn't give me much lead time for the bills coming up
        > or any results from voting. Govtrack does both - reporting on bills
        > being placed on calendars, committee reports, and recent votes.
        >
        > Naturally, I'd like to ask for more features... Most useful would be
        > a quick link to a bill's CRS Summary, since titles are not very
        > informative. I've started to havve one browser open to GovTrack and
        > a second to Thomas.
        >
        > Secondly, it would be nice to know what is coming up for a vote (or
        > in a comittee) by date. I've heard about the House Calendars, but
        > have not stumbled over a link to one. The Whip notices would be a
        > good source of data.
        >
        > I'd like to make a presentation to people at our town library about
        > using the internet to "send a message to congress between
        > elections." Naturally GovTrack would get a lot of emphasis there.
        >
        > Bob Munson
      • pgrvn
        Of course you are correct Josh. The most useful sources for tracking what s coming up for debate or vote are 1) House and Senate majority whip notices on House
        Message 3 of 4 , May 5, 2005
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          Of course you are correct Josh. The most useful sources for tracking
          what's coming up for debate or vote are 1) House and Senate majority
          whip notices on House and Senate sites under Leadership (for the
          days and week ahead only), and 2) Congressional Record Daily Digest,
          noted at the end of the digest (for the next scheduled meeting day
          only).
          The congressional calendars are not day-to-day to-do lists as the
          name "calendar" would have one believe.
          --peggy

          --- In govtrack@yahoogroups.com, Joshua Tauberer / GovTrack
          <tauberer@g...> wrote:
          >
          > > Secondly, it would be nice to know what is coming up for a vote
          (or
          > > in a comittee) by date.
          >
          > I don't know that this information exists anywhere. The calendars
          for
          > the House and Senate are, from my understanding of it, not really
          > related to the order in which matters are actually taken up.
          (They're
          > available on the Gov't Printing Office website, www.gpo.gov.) I
          haven't
          > spent much time looking at the web sites for the majority party,
          which
          > might have more accurate information since they control what gets
          taken
          > up. If you know of or find a page that has useful information, I
          can
          > take a look.
          >
        • Joshua Tauberer / GovTrack
          Hi, Peggy. ... I ll try to integrate this info when I get a chance. Thanks for pointing me to it. -- - Joshua Tauberer http://taubz.for.net ** Nothing Unreal
          Message 4 of 4 , May 6, 2005
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            Hi, Peggy.

            pgrvn wrote:
            > 1) House and Senate majority whip notices on House and Senate sites under Leadership
            > for the days and week ahead only)

            I'll try to integrate this info when I get a chance. Thanks for
            pointing me to it.

            --
            - Joshua Tauberer

            http://taubz.for.net

            ** Nothing Unreal Exists **
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