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SciTech Watch: Congress at Work on the Web

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If you follow the actions and activities of the United States Congress don't you often wonder what they really do?  This week, SciTech Watch looks at a web site that makes the day-to-day activities of the Congress visible to anyone with a web browser.

Founded in 2004 by a graduate student, GovTrack.us is the hub of a set of automated tools that collect information about the daily business of Congress.  As GovTrack's about page says, the site…

…fills that role at the federal level by bringing together legislative data from existing government sources and presenting it in a more user-friendly format, and by providing the ability to track legislative events as they happen via email updates and RSS/Atom feeds.

GovTrack lists its data sources as:

GovTrack allow you to monitor Resolutions, Votes and Bills as they are presented to and acted on by both Houses of Congress.  You can get the information as email messages or as an RSS/Atom feed to monitor in your favorite news aggregator.  From the site's home page you can search for activities based on a Bill Number or a keyword.  Further, you can set up custom RSS/Atom feeds based on any topic the site has indexed.  Once you choose a topic from the alphabetical list, the site allows you to receive updates on this topic via email or use the created RSS orAtom feed to refresh the search each time your aggregator scans the feed.

GovTrack has been nominated for a 2006 Webbie Award in the Politics category.

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