A new website has launched with this promise: ‘OpenCongress brings together official government data with news and blog coverage to give you the real story behind each bill.’ The stream of official information into this news aggregation is from THOMAS, the United States Congress’s official legislation-tracking service. OpenCongress.org adds news and blogs to its interface of information about people, bills and other Congressional business. Its outflow offers a choice of RSS feeds to track bills moving through Congress and people doing things there. The website, which is a joint project of the Sunlight Foundation and Participatory Politics Foundation, has many other features and services including the venerable political staple: gossip.
One of the most compelling features of OpenCongress allows users to track the most-viewed issues, bills, and public officials, to gauge what or who is hot in Congress, and what’s most written-about in the news and blogs. The site also features a ‘Congress Gossip Blog’ that summarizes Congressional activity and the substance of bills in plain language, as well as solicits knowledge about Congress and links to noteworthy news articles from the public.