Congress unveils free electronic database of bills, speeches and schedules
WASHINGTON, D.C. — House of Representatives Speaker Newt Gingrich (R-Ga.) in early January announced a new computer system to make public the full texts of bills from the new Congress.
The system, named “Thomas” in honor of Thomas Jefferson, is operated through the Library of Congress. Gingrich and Librarian of Congress James Billington announced that the service is free to users of the Internet, a global network used by more than 20 million people. Full text of bills from the last Congress is now available, and bills from the new Congress will be available by the end of January, according to the announcement.
Users will be able to gain access to the full text of all versions of the House and Senate bills and of the Congressional Record and the full text of the daily account of proceedings on the House and Senate Floors searchable by keywords. They also will be able to see pull up directory information about representatives, the House’s yearly calendar, committee hearing schedules and the current week’s House floor schedules.
In the future the system will provide the Library of Congress’ bill digest files and offer full text of bills integrated with the legislative summaries and chronologies, according to the news release from the Library.
The electronic address for Thomas is http://thomas.loc.gov.