The latest version of the Congress API includes two new features that give developers access to more information:
- Retrieval of bills cosponsored by an individual member and all of the cosponsors for a particular bill
- Compare the voting records of two members of the House or Senate to see how often they agree and disagree
Though these changes may seem subtle, they provide access to extremely valuable and powerful information. The ability to quickly retrieve and compare the voting records of two politicians has great potential for shedding light on how similar or different they may be, regardless of how each politician's voting record may be portrayed.
Congress doesn't often add new members in between elections, but when it does, the API now has a new members response to let you know when a new member of the House or Senate takes office (a belated welcome to Rep. Judy Chu, D-Calif., who joined the House in July).
We've also spruced up a few existing features: we've added the chamber to individual vote responses, back-filled information for previous members and improved error-handling. More prior members now have identifiers used by C-SPAN's Congressional Chronicle.
And the timing for the upgrade to the API is auspicious, as Congress returns to session this week and the Gov2.0 Summit is taking place in Washington, DC this week as well. The new features and data provide an even more compelling reason for developers to leverage the API (or the other 34 government APIs in our directory) to provide insight and intelligence about Congress and its member's actions.