Congress.gov Beta Legislative Site Readies for Prime Time as the new official website – replacing THOMAS

by Sabrina I. Pacifici on November 9, 2013

News release: “The free legislative information website, Congress.gov, is transitioning into its permanent role as the official site for federal legislative information from the U.S. Congress and related agencies.The site, which launched in beta form last fall and features platform mobility, comprehensive information retrieval and user-friendly presentation, is replacing the nearly 20-year-old THOMAS.gov. Beginning Nov. 19, typing Thomas.gov into a web browser will automatically redirect to Congress.gov. @Thomasdotgov Twitter followers will be transferred to the @Congressdotgov account. THOMAS.gov will remain accessible from the Congress.gov homepage through late 2014 before it is retired. When the Library of Congress, in collaboration with the U.S. Senate, U.S. House of Representatives and the Government Printing Office (GPO) released Congress.gov as a beta site in the fall of 2012, it included bill status and summary, member profiles and bill text from the two most recent congresses at that time – the 111th and 112th. In the year since, Congress.gov has expanded with the additions of the Congressional Record, committee reports, direct links from bills to cost estimates from the Congressional Budget Office, legislative process videos, committee profile pages and historic access reaching back to the 103rd Congress. Users have been invited to provide feedback on the site’s functionality, and many of those suggestions have been incorporated along with the data updates. Additional content will be incorporated throughout 2014 – including nominations, treaties and communications – before THOMAS.gov is formally retired. THOMAS, named for Thomas Jefferson, was launched by the Library in 1995 as a bipartisan initiative of Congress. It averages 10 million visits each year. The system has been updated over the years, but its foundation can no longer support the capabilities that today’s Internet users have come to expect, including access on mobile devices. Using best practices for retrieving and displaying information, the refined, user-friendly Congress.gov system makes finding and using legislative information more intuitive, comprehensive and accessible than the existing system.”

 

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