The Office of the House Clerk today announced that House floor summaries are now available for bulk download in XML. Each House session (roughly a calendar year) is available in one bulk file, going back to the 109th Congress (2005). Click here and select the “Download XML” tab to try it out.
This project is the first of several to be rolled out in the 113th Congress that were coordinated or initiated by the Legislative Branch Bulk Data Task Force. The task force was created to expedite the process of providing bulk access to legislative information and to increase transparency for the American people. It includes the House Clerk, legislative branch agencies such as the Government Printing Office and Library of Congress, representatives from House leadership and key committees, and the House Chief Administrative Officer.
Open government is and has been a priority for House leaders. In fact, the Clerk began offering real-time updates on House floor proceedings in XML back in 2011. The feed of real-time information complemented HouseLive.gov, a new video streaming feature they set up for desktop and mobile devices. The House also began utilizing new low-cost video conferencing tools, streaming committee hearings online, working with developers and transparency advocates, and more.
Today’s announcement is yet another step in the effort to make the legislative process more open and accessible – and there are more to come. Stay tuned.