Major updates to bulk legislative data announced


Photo credit: Architect of the Capitol.

Today’s meeting of the Legislative Branch Bulk Data Task Force produced some major news. Specifically, there will be a lot of new bulk legislative data in the new year.

The newly renamed Government Publishing Office (GPO) has been making bills from the House of Representatives available for bulk download in XML format for nearly two years. Now it appears the Senate will finally be joining the fun.

Even better, both chambers are closer than ever to releasing bill status information in XML. That addition was promised sometime next year.

Not to be out done, the House Clerk’s office announced a number of additions to its XML offerings including better member and committee data as well as information on nominees and elections.

Those are only a few of the changes announced yesterday, for a full run down we recommend this blog post from the Congressional Data Coalition.

Sunlight, along with a number of other of dedicated transparency advocates, has been pushing for these and other changes for a long time now. We have been closely following the activities of the Bulk Data Task Force and are thrilled that they are continuing to move towards making legislative data available in bulk and machine readable formats. We are particularly excited that the Senate has decided to join the House in these efforts and hope that they continue to engage and improve their data.