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Congressional Record Search

Here's the gist

Help empower advocates, activists, and journalists to inform and inspire voters by democratizing access to timely, relevant, high-quality information about congressional actions.

Problem

Wealthy special interests dominate Washington’s policy process. People affiliated with these interests have privileged access to fundamental information about congressional actions. We want to empower activists, advocates, journalists, and concerned citizens by providing them free access to essential legislative branch information, giving them a better opportunity to compete on the battlefield of ideas and activate heretofore disconnected communities.

The Congressional Record is an official source of information about congressional actions, and includes speeches made on the House and Senate floor. Unfortunately, the federal government’s search tool for the CR is cumbersome and yields many unhelpful results.

Goal

Build upon an open source tool that scrapes speeches from the Congressional Record to allow anyone to intelligently search congressional speeches. A user can focus on a particular member and look for a word or phrase. This empowers staff, activists, and journalists to quickly locate member statements on issues of public importance.

Point of contact

Daniel Schuman, co-founder of Congressional Data Coalition. They successfully encouraged the House of Representatives to publish information about committee and floor activities, adopt an order to enshrine digital publication as a bedrock principle of open government, and for the House and Senate to publish information about legislation in bulk and in a structured data format.

Can you help?