Launching GovTrack Insider

Legislative data is only the beginning to understanding what Congress does and how it works. That’s why earlier this month GovTrack.us launched GovTrack Insider, a blog on Medium covering Congress’s daily activities. Each post on GovTrack Insider summarizes recent major legislative activity that would be hard to find just by looking at the official record. Recent posts have looked at amendments to the must-passNational Defense Authorization Act and the controversial Trade Promotion Authority(TPA).

Congress works in complex ways that make legislative activity incredibly difficult to follow, so GovTrack Insider will be a living user guide to the official record. If you were looking for the House votes on TPA, you probably wouldn’t have looked under “Concurring in portion of senate amendment preceding title II” or “Defending Public Safety Employees’ Retirement Act” — but that’s how Congress officially labeled it. GovTrack Insider will find the votes on hot topics so you don’t have to.

We also published a political cartoon: Cartoon Congress: How Democrats got nothing on TPA.

The cartoon and our GovTrack Insider posts are by GovTrack summer intern Ben Hammer. Whether we’ll continue this beyond the summer will depend on user feedback and if we can find a sustainability model.

Please follow GovTrack Insider on Medium and recommend our posts to others.

This is actually the second incarnation of GovTrack Insider. In 2010 I launched a short-lived spin-off experiment with coverage of congressional committee meetings.

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