Winter 2013 Updates 2

Here’s a list of some of the recent improvements to GovTrack.
  • We started writing original summaries of select bills. Read them all here.
  • Vice presidents now have pages on GovTrack. Remember that they cast tie-breaking votes in the Senate, like in this one. Tie-breaking votes now indicate which vice president was the one who cast the vote.
  • You can now search bills by their slip law number, which looks like P.L. 111-64. And enacted bills now show their slip law number, such as on this page.
  • Email updates are now on a new schedule: daily weekday updates are now going out around 8am ET (was previously 8pm), and weekly updates are now going out Saturday around 2pm ET (was previously Sundays at 8pm).
  • House committee assignments are finally now listed on GovTrack (thanks to The New York Times for contributing the information).

Here are some other less-visible changes we made:

  • We replaced the ‘dot diagram’ on vote pages with a seating chart diagram, like on this vote page. The seating chart diagram arranges Members of Congress according to our ideology score, and that can reveal interesting patterns about how Members of Congress are voting.
  • In tracked events for bills, we’re no longer including a separate “referred to committee” event if the referral occurs on the same day as the bill’s introduction.
  • We added some explanatory text when a bill is “providing for the consideration” of another bill and for so-called “original” bills and resolutions. The text appears on bill and vote pages.
  • Our bill prognosis now includes committee assignments as factors, and we dropped factors that don’t meet new significance testing.
  • On district map pages, there is now a link to download a KML file of the map (inside the embed link).
  • We made some fixes for how the site appears on mobile devices.
For developers:
Thanks to GovTrack staffers Gordon and Avi for their work on adding vice presidents and writing summaries!