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What you'll find on this page
This page contains resources about political parties, politicians, legislation, and websites for government accountability. This is helpful to build your background knowledge on the trends and practices in Congress as well as what might be realistic for your bill. The accountability information will help to build your awareness on special interests and to avoid making mistakes in your own legislation.
The U.S. Congress
Who's in Congress, and what do they represent?
You're reading about a member of Congress, and you know they're a Republican or a Democrat-- but where are they on the political spectrum? GovTrack's Congress Report Card can help you get a more nuanced sense of a Congressperson's position than 'right' or 'left'.
U.S. House of Representatives
Official site of the U.S. House of Representatives. See examples of current bills, track legislation, etc.
Official site of the U.S. Senate. See examples of current bills, track legislation, etc.
Political Party Website - Democrats
Read about current issues and projects of concern for the Democratic Party
Political Party Website - Republicans
Read about current issues and projects of concern for the Republican Party
How does Congress function?
Created to be the central repository of information about Congress. This site contains the Congressional Record and all bills introduced in Congress. Also available is the voting record of each member of Congress. All databases are searchable using key words or bill numbers. STARTING HINT: This is a good source to see what's in progress on the House and Senate floor (in the middle of the page), and it also includes the "most-viewed bills" (at the top of the page), giving you an indication of what's popular and currently happening.
Excellent source of information that gives recommendations about federal agencies, Congress, and important policy issues. This is a good source to provide IDEAS for SOLUTIONS to include in your bill, and it is recommended that you go here for the content of your bill. STARTING HINT: Click on the light blue tab in the middle of the page that say "Find All Topics and Services" and then follow the prompts to a topic of your interest.
How a Bill Becomes a Law
Nothing to search here! It is just a reference that provides a full description of the law-making process.
Government Accountability (Who donates to politicians? Are they telling the truth?)
Center for Responsive Politics (Opensecrets.org)
Nonpartisan, independent and nonprofit, the Center for Responsive Politics is a research group tracking money in U.S. politics and its effect on elections and public policy. Their vision is for Americans to be empowered by access to clear and unbiased information about money’s role in politics and policy and to use that knowledge to strengthen the U.S. democracy. Their mission is to produce and disseminate peerless data and analysis on money in politics to inform and engage Americans, champion transparency, and expose disproportionate or undue influence on public policy.
A nonpartisan, nonprofit “consumer advocate” for voters that aims to reduce the level of deception and confusion in U.S. politics. They monitor the factual accuracy of what is said by major U.S. political players in the form of TV ads, debates, speeches, interviews and news releases.
Federal Election Commission (FEC) of the United States of America
The Federal Election Commission (FEC) is the independent regulatory agency charged with administering and enforcing the federal campaign finance law. The FEC has jurisdiction over the financing of campaigns for the U.S. House, Senate, Presidency and the Vice Presidency.