Last week, ProPublica announced new features to its Congress APITrack this API. The Congress API gives programmatic access to a wealth of data collected by congress that allows developers to build innovative applications that utilize such data. The new features include access to lobbying data and bill-related press releases.
ProPublica started collecting lobbying data last year. Lobbyists must register with the Federal government to perform lobbying activity. The clerk of the House of Representatives and the Secretary of State's office collect the data. The data collected includes the name of the lobbyist, who in the government the lobbyist meets with and how much the lobbyist is paid. Developers can pull the latest twenty filings, or search by keyword, lobbyist, client, and issue.
ProPublica has been maintaining a press release database. Now, ProPublica automatically scans press releases within the database for references to bills and bill numbers. If the scan reveals the press release includes references to bill, the press release can be pulled through the Congress API.
All updates and changes can be seen at the Congress API changelog. ProPublica encourages developers to offer feedback and post questions at its GitHub site. To key started with the Congress API, register for an API key.