This guide leads to information about the legislative activities of Congress and about the Senators and Representatives.
Last Updated: Aug 20, 2013
- Write Your Representative
Find members of of the US House of Representatives for your Congressional District.
- US Senate Directory
Find US Senators and contact information.
- Congressional Directory
The Congressional Directory is the official directory of the U.S. Congress, prepared by the Joint Committee on Printing (JCP). It presents: Short biographies of each member of the Senate and House, listed by state or district; Committee memberships, terms of service, administrative assistants and/or secretaries, and room and telephone numbers for Members of Congress; Lists officials of the courts, military establishments, and other Federal departments and agencies, including D.C. government officials, governors of states and territories, foreign diplomats; and members of the press, radio, and television galleries.
The United States Congress is made up of two chambers, Senate and the House of Representatives. Its main mission is to consider and pass legislation. The various steps of that process are documented in a variety of publications. To see an overview of the legislative process, go to U.S. Legislation. To find documentation of Congressional activities, use the tabs above.
Each chamber also maintains its own website:
- United States Senate
- United States House of Representatives
- US Congress Votes Database - A Washington Post Project
The U.S. Congress Votes Database documents every vote and member of the House and Senate since 1991. Data is pulled from several sources, including the House clerk, the U.S. Senate and the Biographical Directory of the U.S. Congress. For the 112th Congress, users can analyze members and votes by various metrics, including caucus affiliations, 2010 margin of victory, and members endorsed by Tea Party Express or Freedom Works during the 2010 campaign. This site is a work in progress and will be expanded over time.
- Congressional Votes Database - GovTrack.us
Using the free GovTrack.us database, you can search and browse bills going back to the 93rd Congress — that’s 1973-74 — and the text of legislation goes back as far as the 106th Congress (1999-2000). Roll call votes are available back to 1790.
- Government Accountability Office
The U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) is an independent, nonpartisan agency that works for Congress. Often called the "congressional watchdog," GAO investigates how the federal government spends taxpayer dollars. The head of GAO, the Comptroller General of the United States, is appointed to a 15-year term by the President from a slate of candidates Congress proposes.
- CRS Report for Congress -Congressional Oversight Manual
Congressional oversight of policy implementation and administration, which has
occurred throughout the U.S. government experience under the Constitution, takes a
variety of forms and utilizes various techniques. These range from specialized
investigations by select committees to annual appropriations hearings, and from informal
communications between Members or congressional staff and executive personnel to the
use of extra congressional mechanisms, such as offices of inspector general and study
commissions. Oversight, moreover, is supported by a variety of authorities—the
Constitution, public law, and chamber and committee rules—and is an integral part of
the system of checks and balances between the legislature and the executive. This report
will be updated as events require.
- Vital Statistics on Congress 2013
A joint report from the Brookings and American Enterprise Institute. Vital Statistics’ purpose has always been to collect useful data on our first branch of government – in the election and composition of its membership as well as its formal procedure, such as the use of the filibuster, informal norms, party structure and staff. This dataset also documents the increasing polarization of Congress and the demographics of those who serve in the U.S. Senate and U.S. House of Representatives.
- Project on Government Oversight - POGO
Founded in 1981, the Project On Government Oversight is a nonpartisan independent watchdog that champions good government reforms. POGO’s investigations into corruption, misconduct, and conflicts of interest achieve a more effective, accountable, open, and ethical federal government.
- Policy Agendas
The Policy Agendas Project collects and organizes data from various archived sources to trace changes in the national policy agenda and public policy outcomes since the Second World War.