Somewhat short “how to” for Congress.Gov PT 1 (House)

Good Afternoon y’all! One of the first posts I wanted to do here on The Geeky Blogger was a “How To” for getting around Congress.Gov . I fully encourage everyone to get comfortable with this site. It helps a lot when trying to look past headlines and getting to what is happening in Congress. On the site you can see all bills submitted from beginning to end. You can also see when Congress is in session and if you are super interested watch the floor proceedings. Hopefully this post will help you feel comfortable navigating your way through the site. There is a Part 2 of this series that covers the Senate and How to Track a Bill.

Where to start:

The first thing I would suggest doing is creating an account so you can track bills that you find interesting or want to follow.  This is fairly simple to do:

  • In the upper right hand corner there is a small sign-in section

  • Click Create an Account –follow through all the steps and voila you are now ready to go. Make sure you sign in every time so you can track till your heart is content.

Following the House

The House and The Senate run very differently. The House is the quicker (in general) at getting things introduced, pushed to committee (here is where some things slow down), and then voted on. Due to their rules on debate it really makes sense  to pay attention right from the beginning because things can get lost in their faster pace way of doing things. This is even more prevalent when there is a significant majority held by either party.

On the main page of Congress.Gov you will find the Current Legislative Activities section smack dab in the middle. This is the easiest place to get the immediate day’s activities.

Break Down of the Links:

  • House Floor Activities : This will take you to an agenda for the current day that is in session. It will also take you to Office of the Clerk site (which I will cover in a bit)
  • Committee Hearings Video: This will take you to a section where you can watch live video feeds of the House Committees. This is where most of the debate happens in the House.
  • Committee Hearings Schedule:  Will let you know what committee’s are scheduled to meet and when so you can tune into the video if you want.

Office of the Clerk site and House Document Repository

The House also has it’s own Government site that is really helpful when trying to get to insight into what the House does.  Some of my favorite sections of the site:

  • Bills to be Considered: This is a must for tracking what is on their agenda for the week. You can also use the calendar on the right to look back at prior weeks. This is the easiest way to find things such as previous bills discussed and agenda items.
  • Office of the Clerk: This is the home of the Office Clerk. There is a great calendar that you can click on to give you the meeting notes for any given day. It will also give you the low down on exactly what the Clerk is responsible for, History about the House, Lobbying disclosures, and Contact Information for all House Members.
  • Committee on Rules: This is an important site because it is the go-to for the Rules in which the House runs. It is worth spending time on this site and visiting it often.
  • US House of Representatives: The portal into the House. This should give you everything that you need to track down and find information on what is happening in the House. You will find Public Disclosure Documents, Live Feeds, and The House Explained (which really is a great explanation of how things happen in the House)

Personally I visit these sites once a week but do most of my navigating on Congress.Gov (I will go over how to track things there after I tackle the Senate)

Since this was getting long decided to split it into 2 parts. Tomorrow I will tackle the Senate and how to follow bills!

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Felicia is just your typical TX gal that likes to look past the headlines and get to the facts. She is spirited, sassy, and sarcastic. She can often be found with a glass of wine and an old school notebook. She finds writing things down helps her think!

During her off time, you can find her hanging with her rescue furr children named after book characters: Lizzie a beautiful cattle dog mix (Pound Pup), Cinder a beautiful Shep/Pitt mix (Pound Pup), and Minerva Shep/Pitt mix (Foster Fail). Gathering with friends and family, attending conventions, watching movies/tv shows, rooting for the 49rs, and crocheting.

She also blogs at Geeky Bloggers Book Blog) and Mess to Best).
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Somewhat short “how to” for Congress.Gov PT 2 (Senate and How to Follow Bills)
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4 thoughts on “Somewhat short “how to” for Congress.Gov PT 1 (House)

  1. Berls

    Hey, so I’ve been using the site as a way to look up bills I hear about and find out what they really say for the longest time. But I had never created an account! Just did it and I’m trying to figure out how you track bills in your account – can you let me know? That would sure be handy as I’m watching so many right now and I’m doing manually!

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