Building on our effort to make the House of Representatives more open and accessible, the Office of the Clerk has rolled out a new way to search video archives from the House floor. This new tool lets you quickly and easily find (and watch) each time a Member of Congress has spoken on a given day.
So, say you want to find Speaker Boehner’s remarks from the balanced budget debate on March 21. Here’s how you’d do it:
- Visit HouseLive.gov;
- Click “WATCH” next to March 21, 2013 (or the day you’d like to search). The daily archives are available going back to the start of the 111th Congress (January 2009);
- Click the arrow next to “Floor Summary” at the top and select “Search Session Transcript”;
- Type “Boehner” (or the name of the Member of Congress you’re searching for) -- the form will auto-fill as you type;
- Click “Search”;
- Click “WATCH” next to the brief transcript of Boehner’s remarks and you’ll jump right to the video.
Give it a try and let us know what you think in the comments below.
The Clerk’s office also has a new RSS feed to help you stay up-to-date with activity on the House floor. Real-time House floor summaries are already available in XML and in bulk, and the RSS feed adds another element of transparency to the legislative process.
Here’s a closer look at some of the other open government initiatives underway in the House:
- House bills and floor summaries are available for download in bulk XML (a task force was created last year to expedite the process of providing bulk access to legislative data);
- Committee documents (votes, bills, meeting notices, witness testimony, and more) and bills to be considered on the House floor each week are all available in XML on docs.House.gov;
- The House floor, House committee hearings, and Speaker Boehner’s events are now streamed live online to desktops, tablets, and mobile devices;
- Low-cost video conferencing tools are now available for lawmakers to engage and keep in contact with their constituents;
- Majority Whip Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) launched the Whipcast app for mobile devices, and Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-VA) developed an innovative “Citizen Cosponsor” tool that integrates with Facebook and helps you stay up-to-date on legislation you care about;
- The Library of Congress developed an app for the Congressional Record, and unveiled beta.Congress.gov -- a new, robust “site for accessing free, fact-based legislative information”;
- The House Administration Committee hosted a Legislative Data and Transparency Conference, Leader Cantor and Democratic Whip Hoyer hosted a “Hackathon” to explore “connections between legislative data, constituent correspondence, and social media”; and much more.