We’ve compiled some resources for you, to help with tracking your federal representatives. You can download a printable PDF version here.
COUNTABLE WEBPAGE AND APP
www.countable.us or download the free app from iTunes
(App for iPhones, iPads, iPod Touch Must have iOS 8.0 or higher)Federal Legislator_Legislation Information Resources
- Website has very understandable information on bills.
- Daily notifications about upcoming votes.
- Short non-partisan summaries of news and legislation.
- Unbiased arguments for and against.
- See how your votes align with your lawmakers.
- Post an opinion or vote and we’ll inform your lawmakers
Votes made on the app are delivered to the politician’s office and once the bill is voted on, participants can see whether or not their lawmaker supported them on the issue.
Congress.gov is a massive site that takes some time to navigate, but is very useable with practice. You can Browse by Date, view Roll Call Votes, and sign up for Alerts.
- Detailed information on Legislation, Congressional Record (daily report of all action in Congress), committee information and activity, Members (past and present) with general info, sponsored legislation with info and status of same.
- Action on legislation by date.
- Detail of roll call votes monthly for both Congressional sessions.
- Can sign up for alerts for any action on Legislation, Nominations, and Member Profiles, congressional record update.
FIVE THIRTY EIGHT PROJECT
FiveThirtyEight is a website that focuses on opinion poll analysis, politics, economics, and sports blogging – takes its name from the number of electors in the United States electoral college.
“Trump Score” for Senate and House votes (including rules, regs, etc.) in agreement or disagreement with the President, in those cases where the administration has taken a public position. Also shows votes in House and Senate. Follow @FiveThirtyEight on Twitter.
Can sort by members names, by party, and by scores. Can zoom in on a member and identify measures voted for or against. Can view chart of outstanding votes and link to congress.gov to read full text. For the time being, these calculations aren’t based on very many votes. Therefore, they’re likely to bounce around over the next few weeks until more votes are taken
PROPUBLICA REPRESENT PROJECT
ProPublica Represent provides information on lawmakers, the bills they consider, and the votes they take (and miss). You can browse the latest votes and bills, see how often lawmakers vote against their parties, and compare voting records.
- Has useful “Votes against Party” percentage and “Bills Sponsored” for current Congress (not past).
- Latest votes.
- Can sort by bill types (i.e. health) and short paragraph and status of bills.
- Drill down to read bill text.
VoteSmart.org provides easy access to Congressional and state voting records and maintains a collection of Key votes, grouped by issue.
Key votes criteria are:
- Helpful in portraying how a member stands on a particular issue.
- Clear for any person to understand.
- Received media attention.
- Passed or defeated by a very close margin.
Provides info on members: bio, votes, positions (determined from public records, if the member unwilling to give a position), rating, speeches, funding (contributors/industries/sectors). Very easy to use with lots of info. Short bill summaries are usually not very helpful, but you can view full bill using a button to congress.gov.
GovTrack.US provides analysis of each member, including:
- Report card
- Committee membership
- Enacted legislation
- Bills sponsorship
- Voting record
- Missed votes
Information on bills and resolutions; get alerts (including daily for all votes) by email for any congressional activity, including “Hot Bills” trending and most tracked. Tweet when bills are enacted and when original research is published. Good, clear, short summaries of bills. Not intuitive to find – little bit of a learning curve.
OpenSecrets.org is published by the Center for Responsive Politics, a nonpartisan, independent, nonprofit research group, tracking money in U.S. politics and its effect on elections and public policy.
Resource for federal campaign contributions, lobbying data and analysis.Provides basic information on members with their fundraising, contributors, and industries contributing. Donor search yields donor’s name, industry, amount, and donee.
FEDERAL ELECTION COMMISSION
The Federal Election Commission is an independent regulatory agency created by Congress to administer and enforce the Federal Election Campaign Act (the statute that governs the financing of federal elections). Duties of the FEC are to disclose campaign finance information, to enforce the provisions of the law such as the limits and prohibitions on contributions, and to oversee the public funding of Presidential elections.
This site is a little tricky to navigate, but provides detailed information regarding contributions and disbursements to a candidate, including donor and PAC information.
You can also set up Google Alerts (here’s how) with any search terms you choose (i.e. “Katko”) and Google will send an alert to your email as it happens, once a day, or once a week of any news stories regarding your search.