GovTrack.us is an incredible new service that promises to transform the way you track, filter and monitor legislation. In their own words:
"GovTrack.us fills the need for a source of information useful for people. It is both a large collection of data as well as a tool for filtering out what you don’t want to see. You can dig deep in GovTrack, finding information the mass media does not have room for, and you can let GovTrack send information to you, like a newspaper customized to your interests. It’s the power of the Internet put to use to close the citizen-country divide.
In this site you’ll find the status of legislation, the speeches of representatives on the House and Senate floors, voting records, campaign contribution summaries, and more, plus the opinions of other users through their blog entries. And you can follow only the issues that interest you through email updates and RSS feeds."
GovTrack.us also provides information on how it is different from its competitors:
"Unlike THOMAS, the official website for congressional information, GovTrack lets users "monitor" the congressional data they’re interested in. Congressional events that match a user’s monitors can be emailed to the user on a daily or weekly basis. When users see events they are interested in, they can take action by writing their representatives or raising awareness through on- and off-line discussion.
Furthermore, GovTrack cross-references all of its data. That is, speeches on the House and Senate floors are linked to information on the bills mentioned in the proceedings, congressmen are linked to the bills they sponsor, subject keywords are linked to the bills that match those keywords, etc.
Unlike Capitol Advantage and their CapWiz program, GovTrack is designed for citizens, not politically minded lobby groups. Capitol Advantage is a for-profit organization that provides website functionality to political and commercial organizations. GovTrack provides this website to you and expects nothing in return.
Voter Information Services has some of the same voting record information as GovTrack, and they have been around for much longer. But, GovTrack brings all Congressional information together in one site. They require membership to access their information."
Best of all, GovTrack.us is free – no need to obtain departmental approval!
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