New: Legislation Coming Up

It used to be that us outsiders never exactly knew when a bill was going to come up for a vote. But thanks to recent developments in the House we can be more involved in the legislative process in the crucial days before a bill comes to a vote.

GovTrack’s new Docket page and Coming Up feed give you a heads-up about bills coming up in the House and Senate. We’re also tweeting the upcoming bills and posting them to our Facebook page as they are posted. For instance, we just tweeted that H.R. 4119: Border Tunnel Prevention Act of 2012 and a handful of other bills were added on Friday to the House’s schedule for next week.

The House schedule is based on a new House website called docs.house.gov that came online this past January thanks to the work of House Majority Leader Eric Cantor, the Office of the Clerk, the Committee on House Administration, and the Speaker’s office. The Senate schedule is based on the Floor Schedule for the next day published on Senate.gov.

The new docs.house.gov website is a major milestone for legislative transparency. For the first time, House leadership is not only committing to a rough schedule a week in advance but is also publishing the schedule in a re-usable, machine-processable format that allows websites like GovTrack to include the information quickly and reliably. Which we’ve done.

We’ve been pushing Congress to share more information in technologically-enabled ways for the last five years. This new docs.house.gov website came out of a pledge from Cantor’s office about a year ago to make more legislative data available. It was a response to the concerns we raised along with a handful of other government transparency organizations. While there’s much more legislative data we want, docs.house.gov is itself a laudable milestone.

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12 Comments

  1. docs.house.gov is a big step forward in letting the average citizen get involved in the process. Thank you and Eric Cantor for getting this accomplished . I will tell my friends about it . Bob DeBiase Marina Del Rey Ca

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  2. Thank you very much for making this so easy to see and be informed of what our legislators are up to on a daily basis and giving us the tools to voice our support or opposition!!!!!!!

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  3. I can’t thank you enough for the progress that you have made in GOVERNMENT TRANSPARENCY!!!!!!!! I’m beginning to think that ERIC CANTOR will make a good president one day soon!!!!!
    This has given me hope for the future! :0)

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  4. Thank You Eric Cantor. This is definitely a step in the Right direction it would have never happened were it Left to someone else to get it done.

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  5. Where can I find a simple consolidation of bills reported (from committees); meaning that at any given time they may appear on the Majority Leader’s Weekly Schedule.

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  6. It is too soon to know if Congress is really transparent but “we the people” have the right to clean our guns if it isn’t! I don’t like the fact my government is supporting Indonesia mistakenly refering to it as a “democracy!” It killed 1/3 of East Timor claiming falsely it belonged to them, they are falsely claiming Aceh whose people want freedom from Indonesia just as the West Papuans who are government throught the State Department admitted in a now declassified message that before the fraudulent “Act of Free Choice” using only .02 of the adult population at gunpoint (The State Department message revealed 97percent of all West Papuans opted for independence from Indonesia!) So here our country that touts freedom to the world actually assisted an illegal takeover of a people that helped us fight WWII in the Pacific. The Indonesians welcomed the Japanese invaders while the West Papuans fought them! The U.S. State Department is assisting a genocide when it allows the President and Congress to approve weapons sales to a country that was recently caught killing 1/3 of East Timor’s population and 1/2 of the West Papuan population since May 1, 1969. I want to see the truth in the news of the U.S. about Indonesian attrocities and a Congressional ban on further weapons sales to Indonesia until they hold a full and fair election of 1 adult Melanisian (No transmigrants)1 vote. Only then can our government be seen as transparent!!

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