What’s New in the Sunlight Congress API


In January, Sunlight [released a new Congress API](https://groups.google.com/forum/#!topic/sunlightlabs/r-evxgtFXRw). It’s been a huge help to [our own products](http://congress.sunlightfoundation.com/), and seen a great deal of use by the community (such as today’s [DefundTheNSA campaign](http://defundthensa.com/)).

In the time since, we’ve released some new data, some new developer-friendly features, and seen lots of community contribution. Here’s what’s been added over the last few months:

* **SSL support**. Use `https://` instead of `http://` in your requests, and it will Just Work. This is optional, and we plan on supporting both SSL and non-SSL API use for the indefinite future.

* **CORS support**. We’ve enabled [CORS](http://enable-cors.org/) for the entire API. This allows requests to the Sunlight Congress API inside the browser without having to use JSONP or a `callback` parameter.

* **Amendments**. We’ve added [data about amendments to House and Senate bills](http://sunlightlabs.github.io/congress/amendments.html). This covers floor amendments (not amendments only introduced in committee), and is delayed by about 1 day. We get the data from the same official resource as bill data (THOMAS.gov). However, we don’t yet search or link to the actual text of amendments. See our [announcement email](https://groups.google.com/d/msg/sunlightlabs-api-discuss/L0S52D3rAmY/97bGheeaGWMJ) for more details.

* **Client libraries**. Several people have released [third-party client libraries](http://sunlightlabs.github.io/congress/#client-libraries) for the Sunlight Congress API. We now have unofficial API wrappers in [Node](https://npmjs.org/package/sunlight-congress-api) (thanks Michael Chase Whittemore), [Ruby](http://rubygems.org/gems/congress) (thanks Erik Michaels-Ober), and [PHP](https://github.com/lobostome/FurryBear) (thanks lobostome).

Finally, a reminder: our new Congress API is a complete replacement for our [old Congress API](http://services.sunlightlabs.com/docs/Sunlight_Congress_API/) and our [Real Time Congress API](http://services.sunlightlabs.com/docs/Real_Time_Congress_API/).

Those two APIs are now deprecated, and we’ll be operating them until at least **January 3, 2015** (the end of the 113th Congress). If you’re still using our old Congress API, consider using our [migration guide](http://sunlightlabs.github.io/congress/migration.html) to transition to the new Congress API before that time.