Sunlight Congress API

A live JSON API for the people and work of Congress, provided by the Sunlight Foundation.

Base URI

https://congress.api.sunlightfoundation.com
Parameters
apikey
string required

All requests to the Congress API require a Sunlight API key. An API key is free to register and has no usage limits.

API keys can be provided with a request through the query string:

/legislators?apikey=[your_api_key]

Or, by setting the key as the value of an X-APIKEY HTTP request header.

Example:
[your_api_key]
fields
string optional

You can request specific fields by supplying a comma-separated list of fields as the fields parameter.

Many fields are not returned unless requested. If you don't supply a fields parameter, you will get the most commonly used subset of fields only.

To save on bandwidth, parsing time, and confusion, it's recommended to always specify which fields you will be using.

Example:
roll_id,result,breakdown.total
Documentation

Provide a query parameter to return results the API thinks best match your query. Queries are interpreted as phrases.

Senate hearings matching "environment"

/hearings?query=environment&chamber=senate

House floor updates matching "committee of the whole"

/floor_updates?query=committee+of+the+whole&chamber=house
Overview

A live JSON API for the people and work of Congress, provided by the Sunlight Foundation.

  • Look up members of Congress by location or by zip code.
  • Official Twitter, YouTube, and Facebook accounts.
  • The daily work of Congress: bills, amendments, nominations.
  • The live activity of Congress: past and future votes, floor activity, hearings.

All requests require a Sunlight API key. An API key is free, and has no limits or use restrictions.

We have an API mailing list, and can be found on Twitter at @sunlightlabs. Report bugs and request features on Github Issues.

Encryption (https://) is used by default, and strongly recommended.

Parameters

API Key

All requests to the Congress API require a Sunlight API key. An API key is free to register and has no usage limits.

API keys can be provided with a request through the query string:

/legislators?apikey=[your_api_key]

Or, by setting the key as the value of an X-APIKEY HTTP request header.

Partial responses

You can request specific fields by supplying a comma-separated list of fields as the fields parameter.

Many fields are not returned unless requested. If you don't supply a fields parameter, you will get the most commonly used subset of fields only.

To save on bandwidth, parsing time, and confusion, it's recommended to always specify which fields you will be using.

Latest vote numbers and their results

/votes?fields=roll_id,result,breakdown.total

{
"results": [
  {
    "breakdown": {
      "total": {
        "Yea": 222,
        "Nay": 190,
        "Not Voting": 19,
        "Present": 0
      }
    },
    "result": "Passed",
    "roll_id": "h43-2013"
  },
  {
    "breakdown": {
      "total": {
        "Yea": 261,
        "Nay": 154,
        "Not Voting": 16,
        "Present": 0
      }
    },
    "result": "Passed",
    "roll_id": "h44-2013"
  }
]
}

Filtering

You can filter on many fields with a simple key/value pair:

/legislators?last_name=Smith

/bills?bill_type=hr&congress=112

The API will automatically treat numbers as numbers, and "true" and "false" as booleans. Dates and times are compared as strings.

To force the API to treat a value as a string, use quotes:

/legislators?thomas_id="136"

See the documentation for a specific data type to see what fields can be filtered on.

Operators

The API supports 8 operators that can be combined with filters:

  • gt - the field is greater than this value
  • gte - the field is greater than or equal to this value
  • lt - the field is less than this value
  • lte - the field is less than or equal to this value
  • not - the field is not this value
  • all - the field is an array that contains all of these values (separated by |)
  • in - the field is a string that is one of these values (separated by |)
  • nin - the field is a string that is not one of these values (separated by |)
  • exists - the field is both present and non-null (supply true or false)

All operators are applied by adding two underscores (__) after the field name. They cannot be combined.

Senate votes that got more than 70 Yea votes

/votes?breakdown.total.Yea__gte=70&chamber=senate

Bills that got an up or down vote in the House

/bills?history.house_passage_result__exists=true&chamber=house

Bills cosponsored by both John McCain and Joe Lieberman

/bills?cosponsor_ids__all=M000303|L000304`

Bills sponsored by either John McCain or Joe Lieberman

/bills?sponsor_id__in=M000303|L000304
Explain mode

Add an explain=true parameter to any API request to return a JSON response with how the API interpreted the query, and database-specific explain information.

This is a convenience for debugging, not a "supported" API feature. Don't make automatic requests with explain mode turned on.

All results in the Congress API are paginated. Set per_page and page to control the page size and offset. The maximum per_page is 50.

/floor_updates?chamber=house&per_page=50&page=3

At the top-level of every response are count and page fields, with pagination information.

{
"count": 163,
"page": {
  "per_page": 50,
  "page": 3,
  "count": 50
}

See Paging envelope for details

Sorting

Sort results by one or more fields with the order parameter. order is optional, but if no order is provided, the order of results is not guaranteed to be predictable.

Append __asc or __desc to the field names to control sort direction. The default direction is desc, because it is expected most queries will sort by a date.

Any field which can be used for filtering may be used for sorting. On full-text search endpoints (URLs ending in /search), you may sort by score to order by relevancy.

Most recent bills

/bills?order=introduced_on

Legislators from each state, sorted by last name within state

/legislators?order=state__asc,last_name__asc

Most relevant bills matching "health care"

/bills/search?query=health+care&order=score
Client-side support

The Congress API supports CORS for all domains, so requests using any modern JavaScript library inside any modern browser should Just Work.

If CORS isn't an option, you can provide a callback parameter to wrap the results in a JavaScript function, suitable for use with JSONP. This can be used to make cross-domain requests to the Congress API within the browser, when CORS is not supported.

For example:

/legislators?last_name=Reid&callback=myCallback

will return:

myCallback({
  "results": [
    {
      "bioguide_id": "R000146",
      "chamber": "senate",
      "last_name": "Reid"
      ...
    }
  ],
  "count": 1,
  "page": {
    "count": 1,
    "per_page": 20,
    "page": 1
  }
});

Endpoints ending with /search that are given a query parameter perform full text search. These queries can use some advanced operators. Queries are interpreted as keywords (use quotes to form phrases).

Laws matching "health care" and "medicine"

/bills/search?query="health care" medicine&history.enacted=true

Operators allowed:

  • Wildcards: Use * as a wildcard within words (e.g. nanotech*). Cannot be used within phrases.
  • Adjacency: Append ~ and a number to a phrase to allow the words to come within X words of each other. (e.g. "transparency accountability"~5)

Bills matching "freedom of information" and words starting with "accountab"

/bills/search?query="freedom of information" accountab*

Bills with "transparency" and "accountability" within 5 words of each other

/bills/search?query="transparency accountability"~5
Highlighting

When performing full text search, you can retrieve highlighted excerpts of where your search matched by using the parameter highlight=true. (This will make the request slower, so only use if needed.)

Recent bills matching "gun control", with highlighting

/bills/search?query="gun control"&highlight=true&order=introduced_on

By default, highlighting is performed with the <em> and </em> tags. Control these tags by passing start and close tags to the highlight.tags parameter. (Disable the highlighting of search terms altogether, leaving only a plain text excerpt, by passing a lone comma, ,.)

Bills matching "immigration", with excerpts highlighted with <b> tags

/bills/search?query=immigration&highlight=true&highlight.tags=<b>,</b>

Bills matching "immigration", with excerpts with no highlighting

/bills/search?query=immigration&highlight=true&highlight.tags=,

Control the size of highlighted excerpts with the highlight.size parameter. (Note: This doesn't always work; the database makes a best attempt.) The default highlight.size is 200.

Bills matching "drugs", with larger excerpts

/bills/search?query=drugs&highlight=true&highlight.size=500
Bulk data

We provide some bulk data for direct download, separately. The Congress API as documented above is not designed for retrieving bulk data -- requests are limited to a maximum of 50 per page, and many fields need to be specifically requested. If you need data in bulk, please use these resources rather than fetching it all through the API.

Legislator spreadsheet

We offer a CSV of basic legislator information for direct download here.

It includes basic information about names, positions, biographical details, contact information, social media accounts, and identifiers for various public databases.

It contains current information only - it does not include a legislator's history of changes to name, party, chamber, etc.

Zip Codes to Congressional Districts

We provide a CSV connecting Zip Code Tabulation Areas (ZCTAs) to congressional districts for direct download here.

This is the data we use in our /legislators/locate and /districts/locate endpoints when a zip is provided. These are technically not zip codes, but ZCTAs: all of our warnings and caveats about using ZCTAs apply.

Legislator Photos

We help maintain a repository of public domain images of members of Congress, located at:

https://github.com/unitedstates/images

Images are collected primarily from the Government Printing Office's Member Guide, and hosted at predictable URLs, using the member of Congress' Bioguide ID.

See the URL documentation for complete details.

Are we missing some photos? Raise the issue and let us know - we welcome contributions!

Core Information

Core information for legislators, committees, and bills come from public domain scrapers and bulk data at github.com/unitedstates.

Client Libraries

If you've written a client library, please tweet at @sunlightlabs or email us so we can link to it here.

Other

Migrating from our old Sunlight Congress API

This Sunlight Congress API replaces and deprecates our old Sunlight Congress API. We will keep the old Congress API running until at least the end of the 113th Congress (January 2015). We advise users of the old Congress API to upgrade to this one as soon as possible.

We have prepared a migration guide that shows how to move from each method in the old API to the new API.

Congress on IFTTT

The Sunlight Foundation has an IFTTT channel that offers some "Triggers" based on events in Congress.

Check out our shared recipes and our favorite recipes for some examples of how to make use of our congressional data with IFTTT.

Planned Additions

  • Draft legislation in the House, as posted to docs.house.gov.
  • Reports by GAO, CBO, and Congressional committees.

To suggest new data and features, open a ticket on Github Issues.

More APIs

If the Sunlight Congress API doesn't have what you're looking for, check out other Congress APIs:

Or if you're looking for other government data:

  • Open States API - Legislative data for all 50 US states, DC, and Puerto Rico.
  • FederalRegister.gov API - Official (government-run) JSON API for the activity of the US' executive branch. Includes all proposed and final regulations, executive orders, and all kinds of things.
  • Capitol Words API - Search speeches of members of Congress (the Congressional Record), and get all sorts of language analysis on frequently used words and phrases.
  • Influence Explorer API - Data around federal lobbying, grants, contracts, and state and federal campaign contributions.
API Methods
GET /
Legislators

Data on members of Congress, dating back to 1789. All member information is sourced from the bulk data at github.com/unitedstates. Feel free to open a ticket with any bugs or suggestions.

Unique ID: The bioguide_id will be present and unique for all members of Congress. It is an official ID, assigned by Congress, and is the most suitable for use as a unique ID.

GET /legislators/locate
GET /legislators
Find members of Congress
GET /legislators/locate

Find members of Congress by a latitude and longitude, or a zip code.

Please use encryption (https://) for all requests to /legislators/locate.

There is no support for further operators, ordering, or partial responses. All you can do is filter by location.

At-large districts, which encompass an entire state, are assigned a district number of 0.

Request parameters

latitude
string optional

latitude

Example:
42.96
longitude
string optional

longitude

Example:
-108.09
zip
string optional

zip code

Example:
11216

Responses

200 OK

Examples

This will return both representatives and senators that currently represent the given point or zip. For a given latitude and longitude, this should return up to 1 representative and 2 senators.

GET https://congress.api.sunlightfoundation.com/legislators/locate?latitude=42.96&longitude=-108.09 HTTP/1.1 
GET https://congress.api.sunlightfoundation.com/legislators/locate?zip=11216 HTTP/1.1 
GET /legislators

Search and filter for members of Congress. All standard operators apply.

By default, all requests will return currently serving members, but you can override this by supplying all_legislators=true.

Request parameters

party
string optional

First letter of the party this member belongs to. “R”, “D”, or “I”.

Example:
R
in_office
boolean optional

Whether a legislator is currently holding elected office in Congress.

Example:
true
gender
string optional

First letter of this member’s gender. “M” or “F”.

Example:
M
state
string optional

Two-letter code of the state this member represents.

Example:
VA
state_name
string optional

The full state name of the state this member represents.

Example:
Virginia
district
string optional

(House only) The number of the district that a House member represents.

state_rank
string optional

(Senate only) The seniority of that Senator for that state. “junior” or “senior”.

Example:
senior
title
string optional

Title of this member. “Sen”, “Rep”, “Del”, or “Com”.

Example:
Rep
chamber
string optional

Chamber the member is in. “senate” or “house”.

Example:
house
senate_class
number optional

Which senate “class” the member belongs to (1, 2, or 3). Every 2 years, a separate one third of the Senate is elected to a 6-year term. Senators of the same class face election in the same year. Blank for members of the House.

Example:
1
birthday
string optional

The date of this legislator’s birthday.

Example:
1946-12-24
term_start
string optional

The date a member’s current term started.

Example:
2007-01-04
term_end
string optional

The date a member’s current term will end.

Example:
2012-12-31

Responses

200 OK
Body
wrapped with Paging envelope
Array of Legislator

Examples

Search for ...

GET https://congress.api.sunlightfoundation.com/legislators?in_office=true&state=VA&title=Sen HTTP/1.1 

HTTP/1.1 200 OK 

Content-Type: application/json

{
  "results" : [ {
    "in_office" : true,
    "party" : "D",
    "gender" : "M",
    "state" : "OH",
    "state_name" : "Ohio",
    "district" : 1,
    "title" : "Sen",
    "chamber" : "senate",
    "senate_class" : 1,
    "state_rank" : "senior",
    "birthday" : "1946-12-24",
    "term_start" : "2007-01-04",
    "term_end" : "2012-12-31"
  } ],
  "count" : 1,
  "page" : {
    "per_page" : 1,
    "page" : 1,
    "count" : 1
  }
}
Districts

Find a congressional district for a given coordinate, or for a zip code. Congressional districts are calculated based on data from the 2010 Census.

For zip code lookup, we use ZIP Code Tabulation Areas (ZCTAs), also published by the Census.

GET /districts/locate
Find congressional districts
GET /districts/locate

Find congressional districts by a latitude and longitude, or a zip code. There is no support for pagination, operators, ordering, or partial responses.

Please use encryption (https://) for all requests to /legislators/locate.

At-large districts, which encompass an entire state, are assigned a district number of 0.

Request parameters

latitude
string optional

latitude

Example:
42.96
longitude
string optional

longitude

Example:
-108.09
zip
string optional

zip code

Example:
11216

Responses

200 OK
Body

Examples

For a given latitude and longitude, this should return 1 congressional district.

GET https://congress.api.sunlightfoundation.com/districts/locate?latitude=42.96&longitude=-108.09 HTTP/1.1 
GET https://congress.api.sunlightfoundation.com/districts/locate?zip=11216 HTTP/1.1 
Committees

Names, IDs, contact info, and memberships of committees and subcommittees in the House and Senate.

All committee information is sourced from bulk data at github.com/unitedstates, which in turn comes from official House and Senate sources.

Feel free to open a ticket with any bugs or suggestions.

We only provide information on current committees and memberships. For historic data on committee names, IDs, and contact info, refer to the bulk data.

GET /committees
Filter through committees
GET /committees

Filter through committees in the House and Senate. Filter by any fields below that have a star next to them. All standard operators apply.

Request parameters

committee_id
string optional

Official ID of the committee, as it appears in various official sources (Senate, House, and Library of Congress).

chamber
string optional

The chamber this committee is part of. “house”, “senate”, or “joint”.

Example:
house
subcommittee
boolean optional

Whether or not the committee is a subcommittee.

Example:
true
member_ids
string optional

An array of bioguide IDs of legislators that are assigned to this committee.

Example:
123

Responses

200 OK
Body
wrapped with Paging envelope
Array
Object
name
string

Official name of the committee. Parent committees tend to have a prefix, e.g. “House Committee on”, and subcommittees do not, e.g. “Health”.

Example:
House Committee on Homeland Security
committee_id
string

Official ID of the committee, as it appears in various official sources (Senate, House, and Library of Congress).

Example:
HSHM
chamber
string

The chamber this committee is part of. “house”, “senate”, or “joint”.

Example:
house
url
string

The committee’s official website.

Example:
http://homeland.house.gov/
office
string

The committe’s building and room number.

Example:
H2-176 FHOB
phone
string

The committee’s phone number.

Example:
(202) 226-8417
subcommittee
boolean

Whether or not the committee is a subcommittee.

Example:
false
member_ids
string

An array of bioguide IDs of legislators that are assigned to this committee.

Example:
K000210
members
Object

Note: membership information is not returned by default for requests to /committees. You must specifically request these fields by using the fields parameter as documented in Partial Responses.

side
string

Whether a member is in the majority or minority of this committee.

Example:
majority
rank
number

The rank this member holds on the committee. Typically, this is calculated by seniority, but there can be exceptions.

Example:
1
title
string

A title, if any, the member holds on the committee. “Chair” (in the House) and “Chairman” (in the Senate) signifies the chair of the committee. “Ranking Member” (in both chambers) signifies the highest ranking minority member.

Example:
Chair
legislator
Object
bioguide_id
string
Example:
K000210
chamber
string
Example:
house
subcommittees
Object

If the committee is a parent committee, the subcommittees field contains a few basic fields about its subcommittees.

name
string
Example:
Cybersecurity, Infrastructure Protection, and Security Technologies
committee_id
string
Example:
HSHM08
phone
string
Example:
(202) 226-8417
chamber
string
Example:
house
parent_committee_id
string

If the committee is a subcommittee, the ID of its parent committee.

Example:
HSSM
parent_committee
Object

If the committee is a subcommittee, some basic details

committee_id
string
Example:
HSSM
name
string
Example:
House Committee on Small Business
chamber
string
Example:
house
website
unknown
office
string
Example:
2361 RHOB
phone
string
Example:
(202) 225-5821
Bills

Data on bills in Congress goes back to 2009, and comes from a mix of sources:

Feel free to open a ticket with any bugs or suggestions.

GET /bills
GET /bills/search
Filter bills
GET /bills

Filter through bills in Congress. Filter by any fields below that have a star next to them. All standard operators apply.

Responses

200 OK
Body
wrapped with Paging envelope
Full text search
GET /bills/search

Search the full text of legislation, and other fields.

Request parameters

query
string optional

This searches the bill’s full text, short_title, official_title, popular_title, nicknames, summary, and keywords fields.

Example:
"health care"
history.enacted
boolean optional
Example:
true

Responses

200 OK
Body
wrapped with Paging envelope
Array of Bill

Examples

GET https://congress.api.sunlightfoundation.com/bills/search?history.enacted=true&query="health care" HTTP/1.1 
Amendments

Data on amendments in Congress goes back to 2009, and comes from THOMAS.gov via scrapers at the github.com/unitedstates project. Feel free to open a ticket with any bugs or suggestions.

GET /amendments
Filter amendments
GET /amendments

Filter through amendments in Congress. Filter by any fields below that have a star next to them. All standard operators apply.

Responses

200 OK
Body
Object
amendment_id
string

The unique ID for this amendment. Formed from the amendment_type, number, and congress.

Example:
hamdt10-113
amendment_type
string

The type for this amendment. For the amendment “H.Amdt. 10”, the amendment_type represents the “H.Amdt.” part. Amendment types can be either hamdt or samdt.

Example:
hamdt
number
number

The number for this amendment. For the amendment “H.Amdt. 10”, the number is 10.

Example:
10
congress
number

The Congress in which this amendment was introduced. For example, amendments introduced in the “113th Congress” have a congress of 113.

Example:
113
chamber
string

The chamber in which the amendment was introduced.

Example:
house
house_number
number

If the amendment was introduced in the House, this is a relative amendment number, scoped to the bill or treaty the House it relates to. How this number gets assigned is complicated and involves multiple institutions within the House and the Library of Congress. You can read the gory details if you want, but this number will usually do the job of connecting to data from the House Clerk's Electronic Voting System.

Example:
8
introduced_on
string

The date this amendment was introduced.

Example:
2013-01-15
last_action_at
string

The date or time of the most recent official action on the amendment. Often, there are no official actions, in which case this field will be set to the value of introduced_on.

Example:
2013-01-15T22:27:00Z
amends_amendment_id
string

If this amendment amends an amendment, this field is the ID of the amended amendment.

Example:
hamdt5-113
amends_amendment
Object

If this amendment amends an amendment, some basic details about that amended amendment.

amendment_id
string
Example:
hamdt5-113
congress
number
Example:
113
number
number
Example:
5
amends_bill_id
string

If this amendment relates to a bill, this field is the ID of the related bill.

Example:
hr152-113
amends_bill
Object

If this amendment relates to a bill, some basic details about that related bill.

bill_id
string
Example:
hr152-113
bill_type
string
Example:
hr
chamber
string
Example:
house
amends_treaty_id
string

If this amendment relates to a treaty, this field is the ID of the related treaty. Treaty IDs are of the form treatyX-Y, where X is the treaty’s number, and Y is the Congress the treaty is being considered in.

sponsor_type
string

Whether the amendment is sponsored by a “person” or a “committee”.

Example:
person
sponsor_id
string

If the sponsor_type is "person", this will be that legislator's bioguide ID. If the sponsor_type is "committee", this will be that committee's ID.

Example:
B000574
sponsor
Object

If the sponsor_type is “person”, some basic details about that person. If the sponsor_type is “committee”, some basic details about that committee.

bioguide_id
string
Example:
B000574
birthday
string
Example:
1948-08-16
chamber
string
Example:
house
desc_and_purpose
Object

Amendments can have a purpose and a description. It's not clear why there are two separate fields. When both are available, the purpose has slightly more information, but that information may be procedural and not relevant to the content of the amendment, as in the example above.

Amendments can have neither of these two fields (very common), or only a purpose (common), or only a description (common), or neither (very rare). You can read further discussion if you're interested.

description
string
purpose
string
actions

Actions on an amendment are identical to actions on bills. Please refer to the documentation on bill actions for examples and details.

Nominations

Nominations made by the President and referred to the Senate for consideration. This data is taken from THOMAS.gov's nominations directory, and goes back to 2009.

Data is collected using the unitedstates/congress project. Feel free to open a ticket with any bugs or suggestions.

Filter through presidential nominations
GET /nominations

Search and filter through presidential nominations in Congress.

Responses

200 OK
Body
Object
nomination_id
string

The unique identifier for this nomination, taken from the Library of Congress. Of the form “PN[number]-[congress]”.

Example:
PN1873-111
congress
number

The Congress in which this nomination was presented.

Example:
111
number
string

The number of this nomination, taken from the Library of Congress. Can occasionally contain hyphens, e.g. “PN64-01”.

Example:
PN1873
received_on
string

The date this nomination was received in the Senate.

Example:
2010-06-24
last_action_at
string

The date this nomination last received action. If there are no official actions, then this field will fall back to the value of received_on.

Example:
2010-06-30
organization
string

The organization the nominee would be appointed to, if confirmed.

Example:
Army
nominees
Object

An array of objects with fields (described below) about each nominee. Nominations for civil posts tend to have only one nominee. Nominations for military posts tend to have batches of multiple nominees. In either case, the nominees field will always be an array.

name
string

The name of the nominee, as it appears in THOMAS. Capitalization is not consistent.

Example:
Gen. David H. Petraeus
position
string

The position the nominee is being nominated for.

Example:
General
state
string

The which state in the United States this nominee hails from. This field is only available for some nominees, and never for batches of multiple nominees.

Example:
PA
committee_ids
string

An array of IDs of committees that the nomination has been referred to for consideration.

Example:
SSAS
actions
Object
acted_at
string

The date the action occurred.

Example:
2010-06-30
location
string

Where the action occurred. Can be either “committee” or “floor”.

Example:
floor
text
string

Text describing the action.

Example:
Considered by Senate pursuant to unanimous consent agreement of June 29, 2010.
type
string

The type of action. At this time, the only value for nomination actions is “action”.

Example:
action
last_action
Object

A convenience field containing only the most recent action object.

acted_at
string

The date the action occurred.

Example:
2010-06-30
location
string

Where the action occurred. Can be either “committee” or “floor”.

Example:
floor
text
string

Text describing the action.

Example:
Considered by Senate pursuant to unanimous consent agreement of June 29, 2010.
type
string

The type of action. At this time, the only value for nomination actions is “action”.

Example:
action
Votes

Roll call votes taken by the House and Senate. This data is taken from original House and Senate sources, and goes back to 2009.

House and Senate votes normally appear within an hour after the vote is taken. House data usually appears more quickly, since the House uses an electronic voting system.

Votes taken by voice or unanimous consent, where the votes of individual representatives and senators are not recorded, are not present here.

Filter through votes
GET /votes

Search and filter through votes in Congress.

Responses

200 OK

Many fields are not returned unless requested. You can request specific fields with the fields parameter. See the partial responses documentation for more details.

* = can be used as a filter

Body
Object
roll_id
string

A unique identifier for a roll call vote. Made from the first letter of the chamber, the vote number, and the legislative year

Example:
h7-2013
chamber
string

The chamber the vote was taken in. “house” or “senate”.

Example:
house
number
number

The number that vote was assigned. Numbers reset every legislative year.

Example:
7
year
number

The “legislative year” of the vote. This is not quite the same as the calendar year - the legislative year changes at noon EST on January 3rd. A vote taken on January 1, 2013 has a “legislative year” of 2012.

Example:
2013
congress
number

The Congress this vote was taken in.

Example:
113
voted_at
string

The time the vote was taken.

Example:
2013-01-04T16:22:00Z
vote_type
string

The type of vote being taken. This classification is imperfect and unofficial, and may change as we improve our detection. Valid types are “passage”, “cloture”, “nomination”, “impeachment”, “treaty”, “recommit”, “quorum”, “leadership”, and “other”.

Example:
passage
roll_type
string

The official description of the type of vote being taken.

Example:
On Motion to Suspend the Rules and Pass
question
string

The official full question that the vote is addressing.

Example:
On Motion to Suspend the Rules and Pass -- H.R. 41 -- To temporarily increase the borrowing authority of the Federal Emergency Management Agency for carrying out the National Flood Insurance Program
required
string

The required ratio of Aye votes necessary to pass the legislation. A value of “1/2” actually means more than 1/2. Ties are not possible in the Senate (the Vice President casts a tie-breaker vote), and in the House, a tie vote means the vote does not pass.

Example:
2/3
result
string

The official result of the vote. This is not completely standardized (both “Passed” and “Bill Passed” may appear). In the case of a vote for Speaker of the House, the result field contains the name of the victor.

Example:
Passed
source
string

The original, official source XML for this vote information.

Example:
http://clerk.house.gov/evs/2013/roll007.xml
bill_id
string

If a vote is related to a bill, the bill’s ID.

Example:
hr41-113
bill
Object

If a vote is related to a bill, some basic fields about the bill.

bill_id
string
Example:
hr41-113
bill_type
string
Example:
hr
congress
number
Example:
113
nomination_id
string

If a vote is related to a nomination, the nomination’s ID.

Example:
PN202-113
nomination
Object

If a vote is related to a nomination, some basic fields about the nomination.

organization
string
Example:
The Judiciary
received_on
string
Example:
2013-03-19
nominees
Object
name
string
Example:
Elaine D. Kaplan
position
string
Example:
Judge of the United States Court of Federal Claims
state
string
Example:
DC
voter_ids
Object

An object connecting bioguide IDs of legislators to the vote values they cast.

A000055
string
Example:
Yea
A000361
string
Example:
Yea
voters
Object

An object connecting bioguide IDs to their vote value, and some basic information about the voter.

A000055
Object
vote
string

The value of the vote this voter cast.

Example:
Yea
voter
Object

Some basic fields about the voter.

bioguide_id
string
Example:
A000361
chamber
string
Example:
house
breakdown
Object

The vote breakdown gives top-level numbers about what votes were cast. Most votes are “Yea”, “Nay”, “Present”, and “Not Voting”. There are exceptions: in the Senate, impeachment votes are “Guilty” or “Not Guilty”. In the House, votes for the Speaker of the House are the name of the person being voted for (e.g. “Pelosi” or “Boehner”). There may be other exceptions. Values for “Present” and “Not Voting” will always be present, no matter what kind of vote it is. These fields are dynamic, but can all be filtered on.

total
Object

The number of members who cast [vote], where [vote] is a valid vote as defined above.

Yea
number
Example:
62
Nay
number
Example:
36
Not Voting
number
Example:
2
Present
number
Example:
0
party
Object

The number of members of [party] who cast [vote], where [party] is one of “D”, “R”, or “I”, and [vote] is a valid vote as defined above.

R
Object
Yea
number
Example:
62
Nay
number
Example:
36
Not Voting
number
Example:
2
Present
number
Example:
0
D
Object
Yea
number
Example:
62
Nay
number
Example:
36
Not Voting
number
Example:
2
Present
number
Example:
0
I
Object
Yea
number
Example:
62
Nay
number
Example:
36
Not Voting
number
Example:
2
Present
number
Example:
0
Floor updates

Recent real time, to-the-minute updates from the House and Senate floor. House floor updates are sourced from XML at the House Clerk, and Senate updates from the Senate Periodical Press Gallery.

This endpoint focuses on the recent past. We don't automatically delete old floor updates, but we also don't guarantee non-recent data will remain available.

GET /floor_updates
Filter through floor updates
GET /floor_updates

Search and filter through floor updates in the House and Senate.

Responses

200 OK
Body
Object
chamber
string

The chamber this update took place in. “house” or “senate”.

Example:
house
timestamp
string

The time this update took place. For Senate updates, this actually means the time our system first observed the update, and is susceptible to error; the Senate does not offer precise timestamps.

Example:
2013-01-04T18:34:14Z
congress
number

The number of the Congress this update took place during.

Example:
113
year
number

The “legislative year” of the update. This is not quite the same as the calendar year - the legislative year changes at noon EST on January 3rd. A vote taken on January 1, 2013 has a “legislative year” of 2012.

Example:
2013
legislative_day
string

The “legislative day” this update took place in. The “legislative day” is a formal construct that is usually, but not always, the same as the calendar day. For example, if a day’s session of Congress runs past midnight, the legislative_day will often stay the same as it was before midnight, until that session adjourns. On January 3rd, it is possible that the same legislative_day could span two Congresses. (This occurred in 2013.)

Example:
2013-01-04
update
string

The text of the update.

Example:
The House adjourned pursuant to S. Con. Res. 3. The next meeting is scheduled for 2:00 p.m. on January 14, 2013.
bill_ids
string

An array of IDs of bills that are referenced by or associated with this floor update.

Example:
sconres3-113
roll_ids
string

An array of IDs of roll call votes that are referenced by or associated with this floor update.

legislator_ids
string

An array of bioguide IDs of legislators that are referenced by this floor update.

Hearings

Committee hearings scheduled by the House and Senate. This data is taken from original House and Senate sources.

This endpoint is future-looking. We don't automatically delete data on past hearings, but we also don't guarantee non-recent data will remain available.

Search and filter through committee hearings
GET /hearings

Search and filter through committee hearings in the House and Senate.

Responses

200 OK
Body
Object
committee_id
string

The ID of the committee holding the hearing.

Example:
HSIF
occurs_at
string

The time the hearing will occur.

Example:
2013-01-22T15:00:00Z
congress
number

The number of the Congress the committee hearing is taking place during.

Example:
113
chamber
string

The chamber of the committee holding the hearing. “house”, “senate”, or “joint”.

Example:
house
dc
boolean

Whether the committee hearing is held in DC (true) or in the field (false).

Example:
true
room
string

If the hearing is in DC, the building and room number the hearing is in. If the hearing is in the field, the address of the hearing.

Example:
2123 Rayburn HOB
description
string

A description of the hearing.

Example:
Hearings to examine the state of the right to vote after the 2012 election.
bill_ids
string

The IDs of any bills mentioned by or associated with the hearing.

url
string

(House only) A permalink to that hearing’s description on that committee’s official website

Example:
http://energycommerce.house.gov/markup/committee-organizational-meeting-113th-congress
hearing_type
string

(House only) The type of hearing this is. Can be: “Hearing”, “Markup”, “Business Meeting”, “Field Hearing”.

Example:
Hearing
committee
Object

Basic details about the related committee

address
string
Example:
2125 RHOB; Washington, DC 20515
chamber
string
Example:
house
committee_id
string
Example:
HSIF
name
string
Example:
House Committee on Energy and Commerce
office
string
Example:
2125 RHOB
phone
string
Example:
(202) 225-2927
subcommittee
boolean
Example:
false
Upcoming Bills

Bills that have been scheduled by party leadership for upcoming House and Senate floor action. House schedules are taken from the House Majority Leader, and Senate schedules from the Senate Democratic Caucus.

The endpoint will accrue a running history of scheduled bills. Typically, you will want to ask for the latest upcoming bills, sorted by scheduled_at (the time at which we first spotted the bill on the calendar).

Currently, the endpoint defaults to showing only bills in the future and immediate past (7 days ago). If you want different behavior, override the legislative_day filter.

Note: Prior to March 4, 2014, the endpoint deleted old data on scheduled bills automatically.

GET /upcoming_bills
Filter through upcoming bills
GET /upcoming_bills

Filter through upcoming bills in the House and Senate.

Currently, the endpoint defaults to showing only bills in the future and immediate past (7 days ago). If you want different behavior, override the legislative_day filter.

Responses

200 OK

* = can be used as a filter

Body
Object
congress
number

The number of the Congress this bill has been scheduled in.

Example:
113
chamber
string

The chamber which has scheduled this bill.

Example:
senate
source_type
string

The source for this information. "house_daily" (Majority Leader daily schedule or "senate_daily" (Senate Democrats' Floor feed.

Example:
senate_daily
legislative_day
string

The legislative day this bill is scheduled for. Combine with the range field to understand precision. May be null.

Example:
2013-01-21
scheduled_at
string
Example:
2013-01-15T12:24:51Z
range
string

How precise this information is. "day", "week", or null.

  • range is "day": bill has been scheduled specifically for the legislative_day.
  • range is "week": bill has been scheduled for the "Week of" the legislative_day.
  • range is null: bill has been scheduled at an indefinite time in the future. (legislative_day is null.)

The "legislative day" is a formal construct that is usually, but not always, the same as the calendar day. For example, if a day's session of Congress runs past midnight, the legislative_day will often stay the same as it was before midnight, until that session adjourns. On January 3rd, it is possible that the same legislative_day could span two Congresses. (This occurred in 2013.)

Example:
day
context
string

(Senate only) Some context for what kind of activity will be occurring to the bill.

Example:
The Senate stands in recess under the provisions of S.Con.Res.3. The Senate will meet at 11:30am on Monday, January 21, 2013 for the Joint Session for the Inaugural Ceremonies.
url
string

A permalink for this information. For the House, this may be a PDF.

Example:
http://democrats.senate.gov/2013/01/21/senate-floor-schedule-for-monday-january-21-2013/
bill_id
string

The ID of the bill that is being scheduled.

Example:
sconres3-113
bill
Object

Some basic fields about the bill that is being scheduled.

bill_id
string
Example:
hr41-113
bill_type
string
Example:
hr
congress
number
Example:
113
Status
GET /

If you wish to check the status of the API, visit the root (no API key required):

Responses

200 OK
Body
Object
status
number
Example:
200
message
string
Example:
I live!
documentation
string
Example:
http://sunlightlabs.github.io/congress/
code
string
Example:
https://github.com/sunlightlabs/congress
report_bugs
string
Example:
https://github.com/sunlightlabs/congress/issues
more_apis
string
Example:
http://sunlightfoundation.com/api/
Data Reference
Legislator
Object
in_office
boolean

Whether a legislator is currently holding elected office in Congress.
filter

Example:
true
party
string

First letter of the party this member belongs to. “R”, “D”, or “I”.
filter

Example:
D
gender
string

First letter of this member’s gender. “M” or “F”.
filter

Example:
M
state
string

Two-letter code of the state this member represents.
filter

Example:
OH
state_name
string

The full state name of the state this member represents.
filter

Example:
Ohio
district
number

(House only) The number of the district that a House member represents.

Example:
1
title
string

Title of this member. “Sen”, “Rep”, “Del”, or “Com”.

Example:
Sen
chamber
string

Chamber the member is in. “senate” or “house”.

Example:
senate
senate_class
number

Which senate “class” the member belongs to (1, 2, or 3). Every 2 years, a separate one third of the Senate is elected to a 6-year term. Senators of the same class face election in the same year. Blank for members of the House.

Example:
1
state_rank
string

(Senate only) The seniority of that Senator for that state. “junior” or “senior”.

Example:
senior
birthday
string

The date of this legislator’s birthday.

Example:
1946-12-24
term_start
string

The date a member’s current term started.

Example:
2007-01-04
term_end
string

The date a member’s current term will end.

Example:
2012-12-31
Methods: Search
Identifiers
Object
bioguide_id
string

Identifier for this member in various Congressional sources. Originally taken from the Congressional Biographical Directory, but used in many places. If you're going to pick one ID as a Congressperson's unique ID, use this.
filter

Example:
B000944
ocd_id
string

Identifier for this member across all countries and levels of government, as defined by the Open Civic Data project.
filter

Example:
ocd-division/country:us/state:oh
thomas_id
string

Identifier for this member as it appears on THOMAS.gov and Congress.gov.
filter

Example:
136
govtrack_id
string

Identifier for this member as it appears on GovTrack.us.
filter

Example:
400050
votesmart_id
string

Identifier for this member as it appears on Project Vote Smart.
filter

Example:
27018
crp_id
string

Identifier for this member as it appears on CRP's OpenSecrets.
filter

Example:
N00003535
lis_id
string

Identifier for this member as it appears on some of Congress' data systems (namely Senate votes).
filter

Example:
S307
icpsr_id
number

Identifier for this member as it is maintained by the Inter-university Consortium for Political and Social Research.
filter

Example:
14263
fec_ids
Array of string

A list of identifiers for this member as they appear in filings at the Federal Election Commission.
filter

Example:
H2OH13033
Names
Object
first_name
string

The member’s first name. This may or may not be the name they are usually called.
filter

Example:
Jefferson
nickname
string

The member’s nickname. If present, usually safe to assume this is the name they go by.
filter

Example:
Jeff
last_name
string

The member’s last name.
filter

Example:
Brown
middle_name
string

The member’s middle name, if they have one.
filter

Example:
B.
name_suffix
string

A name suffix, if the member uses one. For example, “Jr.” or “III”.
filter

Example:
Jr.
Contact info
Object
phone
string

Phone number of the members’s DC office.

Example:
202-224-2315
website
string

Official legislative website.

Example:
http://brown.senate.gov/
office
string

Office number for the member’s DC office.

Example:
713 Hart Senate Office Building
contact_form
string

URL to their official contact form.

Example:
http://www.brown.senate.gov/contact/
fax
string

Fax number of the members’s DC office.

Example:
202-228-6321
Social Media

Social media account data is sourced from the unitedstates/congress-legislators project on Github. If you spot any missing or incorrect accounts, please file a ticket or open a pull request!

All social media account values can be turned into URLs by preceding them with the domain name of the service in question:

  • http://twitter.com/[username]
  • http://youtube.com/[username or channel ID]
  • http://facebook.com/[username or ID]
Object
twitter_id
string

The Twitter username for a member’s official legislative account. This field does not contain the handles of campaign accounts.

Example:
SenSherrodBrown
youtube_id
string

The YouTube username or channel for a member's official legislative account. This field does not contain the handles of campaign accounts. A few legislators use YouTube "channels" instead of regular accounts. These channels will be of the form channel/[id].

Example:
SherrodBrownOhio
facebook_id
string

The Facebook username or ID for a member's official legislative Facebook presence. ID numbers and usernames can be used interchangeably in Facebook's URLs and APIs. The referenced account may be either a Facebook Page or a user account.

Example:
109453899081640
Terms

An array of information for each term the member has served, from oldest to newest.

Object
terms
Array
Object
start
string

The date this term began.

Example:
2013-01-03
end
string

The date this term ended, or will end.

Example:
2019-01-03
state
string

The two-letter state code this member was serving during this term.

Example:
NJ
party
string

The party this member belonged to during this term.

Example:
D
class
number

The Senate class this member belonged to during this term, if they served in the Senate. Determines in which cycle they run for re-election. 1, 2, or 3.

Example:
1
title
string

The title this member had during this term. “Rep”, “Sen”, “Del”, or “Com”.

Example:
Sen
chamber
string

The chamber this member served in during this term. “house” or “senate”.

Example:
senate
District

Simple district representation

Object
state
string

The two-letter state code of the state this district is in.

Example:
NY
district
number

The number of the congressional district. For “At Large” districts, where a state has only one representative, the district number is 0.

Example:
8
Bill
Object
bill_id
string

The unique ID for this bill. Formed from the bill_type, number, and congress.

Example:
hr3590-111
bill_type
string

The type for this bill. For the bill “H.R. 4921”, the bill_type represents the “H.R.” part. Bill types can be: hr, hres, hjres, hconres, s, sres, sjres, sconres.

Example:
hr
number
number

The number for this bill. For the bill “H.R. 4921”, the number is 4921.

Example:
3590
congress
number

The Congress in which this bill was introduced. For example, bills introduced in the “111th Congress” have a congress of 111.

Example:
111
chamber
string

The chamber in which the bill originated.

Example:
house
introduced_on
string

The date this bill was introduced.

Example:
2009-09-17
last_action_at
string

The date or time of the most recent official action. In the rare case that there are no official actions, this field will be set to the value of introduced_on.

Example:
2010-03-23
last_vote_at
string

The date or time of the most recent vote on this bill.

Example:
2010-03-22T03:48:00Z
last_version_on
string

The date the last version of this bill was published. This will be set to the introduced_on date until an official version of the bill’s text is published.

Example:
2012-08-25
titles
nicknames
Array of string

An array of common nicknames for a bill that don't appear in official data. These nicknames are sourced from a public dataset at unitedstates/bill-nicknames, and will only appear for a tiny fraction of bills. In the future, we plan to auto-generate acronyms from bill titles and add them to this array.

Example:
obamacare
keywords
Array of string

A list of official keywords and phrases assigned by the Library of Congress. These keywords can be used to group bills into tags or topics, but there are many of them (1,023 unique keywords since 2009, as of late 2012), and they are not grouped into a hierarchy. They can be assigned or revised at any time after introduction.

Example:
Abortion
summary
string

An official summary written and assigned at some point after introduction by the Library of Congress. These summaries are generally more accessible than the text of the bill, but can still be technical. The LOC does not write summaries for all bills, and when they do can assign and revise them at any time.

Example:
Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act - Title I: Quality, Affordable Health Care for All Americans...
summary_short
string

The official summary, but capped to 1,000 characters (and an ellipse). Useful when you want to show only the first part of a bill’s summary, but don’t want to download a potentially large amount of text.

Example:
Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act - Title I: Quality, Affordable Health Care for All Americans...
urls
Object

An object with URLs for this bill’s landing page on Congress.gov, GovTrack.us, and OpenCongress.org.

html
string
Example:
http://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/BILLS-111hr3590enr/html/BILLS-111hr3590enr.htm
pdf
string
Example:
http://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/BILLS-111hr3590enr/pdf/BILLS-111hr3590enr.pdf
history
Object

The history field includes useful flags and dates/times in a bill’s life. The above is a real-life example of H.R. 3590 - not all fields will be present for every bill. Time fields can hold either dates or times - Congress is inconsistent about providing specific timestamps.

active
boolean

Whether this bill has had any action beyond the standard action all bills get (introduction, referral to committee, sponsors’ introductory remarks). Only a small percentage of bills get this additional activity.

Example:
true
active_at
string

If this bill got any action beyond initial introduction, the date or time of the first such action. This field will stay constant even as further action occurs. For the time of the most recent action, look to the last_action_at field.

Example:
2009-10-07T18:35:00Z
house_passage_result
string

The result of the last time the House voted on passage. Only present if this vote occurred. “pass” or “fail”.

Example:
pass
house_passage_result_at
string

The date or time the House last voted on passage. Only present if this vote occurred.

Example:
2010-03-22T02:48:00Z
senate_cloture_result
string

The result of the last time the Senate voted on cloture. Only present if this vote occurred. “pass” or “fail”.

Example:
pass
senate_cloture_result_at
string

The date or time the Senate last voted on cloture. Only present if this vote occurred.

Example:
2009-12-23
senate_passage_result
string

The result of the last time the Senate voted on passage. Only present if this vote occurred. “pass” or “fail”.

Example:
pass
senate_passage_result_at
string

The date or time the Senate last voted on passage. Only present if this vote occurred.

Example:
2009-12-24
vetoed
boolean

Whether the bill has been vetoed by the President. Always present.

Example:
false
vetoed_at
string

The date or time the bill was vetoed by the President. Only present if this happened.

Example:
2010-01-22T02:18:00Z
house_override_result
boolean

The result of the last time the House voted to override a veto. Only present if this vote occurred. “pass” or “fail”.

Example:
true
house_override_result_at
string

The date or time the House last voted to override a veto. Only present if this vote occurred.

Example:
2009-12-24
senate_override_result
boolean

The result of the last time the Senate voted to override a veto. Only present if this vote occurred. “pass” or “fail”.

Example:
true
senate_override_result_at
string

The date or time the Senate last voted to override a veto. Only present if this vote occurred.

Example:
2009-12-24
awaiting_signature
boolean

Whether the bill is currently awaiting the President’s signature. Always present.

Example:
false
enacted
boolean

Whether the bill has been enacted into law. Always present.

Example:
true
enacted_at
string

The date or time the bill was enacted into law. Only present if this happened.

Example:
2010-03-23
actions
votes
Array of Action

Votes actions

sponsorship
committee_ids
Array of string
Example:
HSWM
committees
Array
Object
committee_id
string
Example:
ABCD
name
string
Example:
Committee
activity
Array of string
Example:
referral
committee
related_bill_ids
Array of string

A list of IDs of bills that the Library of Congress has declared “related”. Relations can be pretty loose, use this field with caution.

Example:
hconres254-111
versions
Array

The versions field is an array of information on each version of the bill. This data is sourced from GPO, and is published on a different schedule than most other bill information.

Object
version_code
string

The short-code for what stage the version of the bill is at.

Example:
eas
issued_on
string
Example:
2009-12-24
version_name
string

The full name for the stage the version of the bill is at.

Example:
Engrossed Amendment Senate
bill_version_id
string

The unique ID for this bill version. It’s the bill’s bill_id plus the version’s version_code.

Example:
hr3590-111-eas
urls
Object

A set of HTML, PDF, and XML links (when available) for the official permanent URL of a bill version’s text. Our full text search uses the text from the HTML version of a bill.

html
string
Example:
http://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/BILLS-111hr3590eas/html/BILLS-111hr3590eas.htm
pdf
string
Example:
http://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/BILLS-111hr3590eas/pdf/BILLS-111hr3590eas.pdf
last_version
Object

Information for only the most recent version of a bill. Useful to limit the size of a request with partial responses.

version_code
string

The short-code for what stage the version of the bill is at.

Example:
eas
issued_on
string
Example:
2009-12-24
version_name
string

The full name for the stage the version of the bill is at.

Example:
Engrossed Amendment Senate
bill_version_id
string

The unique ID for this bill version. It’s the bill’s bill_id plus the version’s version_code.

Example:
hr3590-111-eas
urls
Object

A set of HTML, PDF, and XML links (when available) for the official permanent URL of a bill version’s text. Our full text search uses the text from the HTML version of a bill.

html
string
Example:
http://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/BILLS-111hr3590eas/html/BILLS-111hr3590eas.htm
pdf
string
Example:
http://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/BILLS-111hr3590eas/pdf/BILLS-111hr3590eas.pdf
upcoming
Array

The upcoming field has an array of objects describing when a bill has been scheduled for future debate on the House or Senate floor. Its information is taken from party leadership websites in the House and Senate, and updated frequently throughout the day. While this information is official, party leadership in both chambers have unilateral and immediate control over what is scheduled on the floor, and it can change at any time. We do our best to automatically remove entries when a bill has been yanked from the floor schedule.

Object
source_type
string

Where this information is coming from. Currently, the only values are “senate_daily” or “house_daily”.

Example:
senate_daily
url
string

An official reference URL for this information.

Example:
http://democrats.senate.gov/2013/01/21/senate-floor-schedule-for-monday-january-21-2013/
chamber
string

What chamber the bill is scheduled for debate in.

Example:
senate
congress
number

What Congress this is occurring in.

Example:
113
range
string

How precise this information is. “day”, “week”, or null. See more details on this field in the /upcoming_bills documentation.

Example:
day
legislative_day
string

The date the bill is scheduled for floor debate.

Example:
2013-01-21
context
string

Some surrounding context of why the bill is scheduled. This is only present for Senate updates right now

Example:
The Senate stands in recess under the provisions of S.Con.Res.3. The Senate will meet at 11:30am on Monday, January 21, 2013 for the Joint Session for the Inaugural Ceremonies.
enacted_as
Object

If a bill has been enacted into law, the enacted_as field contains information about the law number it was assigned. The above information is for Public Law 111-148.

congress
number

The Congress in which this bill was enacted into law.

Example:
111
law_type
string

Whether the law is a public or private law. Most laws are public laws; private laws affect individual citizens. “public” or “private”.

Example:
public
number
number

The number the law was assigned.

Example:
148
Titles
Object
official_title
string

The current official title of a bill. Official titles are sentences. Always present. Assigned at introduction, and can be revised any time.

Example:
An act entitled The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act.
popular_title
string

The current popular handle of a bill, as denoted by the Library of Congress. They are rare, and are assigned by the LOC for particularly ubiquitous bills. They are non-capitalized descriptive phrases. They can be assigned any time.

Example:
Health care reform bill
short_title
string

The current shorter, catchier title of a bill. About half of bills get these, and they can be assigned any time.

Example:
Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act
titles
Array

A list of all titles ever assigned to this bill, with accompanying data.

Object
as
string

The state the bill was in when assigned this title.

Example:
enacted
title
string

The title given to the bill.

Example:
Health care reform bill
type
string

The type of title this is. “official”, “short”, or “popular”.

Example:
popular
Types: Bill
Actions

The actions has a list of all official activity that has occurred to a bill. All fields are parsed out of non-standardized sentence text, so mistakes and omissions are possible.

Object
actions
Array of Action
last_action
Object

The most recent action.

type
string
Example:
enacted
acted_at
string
Example:
2010-03-23
text
string
Example:
Became Public Law No: 111-148.
references
Array
Object
reference
string
Example:
CR H1920-2152
type
string
Example:
text as House agreed to Senate amendments
Types: Bill
Action
Object
type
string

The type of action. Always present. Can be “action” (generic), “vote” (passage vote), “vote-aux” (cloture vote), “vetoed”, “topresident”, and “enacted”. There can be other values, but these are the only ones we support.

Example:
vote
acted_at
string

The date or time the action occurred. Always present.

Example:
2010-03-21T22:48:00-05:00
chamber
string

If the action is a vote, which chamber this vote occured in. “house” or “senate”.

Example:
house
how
string

If the action is a vote, how the vote was taken. Can be “roll”, “voice”, or “Unanimous Consent”.

Example:
roll
vote_type
string

If the action is a vote, this is the type of vote. “vote”, “vote2”, “cloture”, or “pingpong”.

Example:
pingpong
result
string

If the action is a vote, the result. “pass” or “fail”.

Example:
pass
roll_id
string

If the action is a roll call vote, the ID of the roll call.

Example:
165
committees
Array of Committees

A list of subobjects containing committee_id and name fields for any committees referenced in an action. Will be missing if no committees are mentioned.

text
string

The official text that describes this action. Always present.

Example:
On motion that the House agree to the Senate amendments Agreed to by recorded vote: 219 - 212 (Roll no. 165).
references
Array of References

A list of references to the Congressional Record that this action links to.

Types: Actions Bill
Sponsorships
Object
sponsor_id
string

The bioguide ID of the bill’s sponsoring legislator, if there is one. It is possible, but rare, to have bills with no sponsor.

Example:
R000053
sponsor
Object

An object with most simple legislator fields for the bill’s sponsor, if there is one.

bioguide_id
string
Example:
R000053
in_office
boolean
Example:
true
last_name
string
Example:
Rangel
cosponsor_ids
Array of string

An array of bioguide IDs for each cosponsor of the bill. Bills do not always have cosponsors.

Example:
B000287
cosponsors_count
number

The number of active cosponsors of the bill.

Example:
90
cosponsors
Array
Object
sponsored_on
string

When a legislator signed on as a cosponsor of the legislation.

Example:
2009-09-17
legislator
Object
bioguide_id
string
Example:
R000053
in_office
boolean
Example:
true
last_name
string
Example:
Rangel
withdrawn_cosponsor_ids
Array of string

An array of bioguide IDs for each legislator who has withdrawn their cosponsorship of the bill.

withdrawn_cosponsors
Array

The number of active cosponsors of the bill.

Object
withdrawn_on
string

The date the legislator withdrew their cosponsorship of the bill.

sponsored_on
string

The date the legislator originally cosponsored the bill.

legislator
Object

An object with most simple legislator fields for that withdrawn cosponsor.

bioguide_id
string
Example:
R000053
in_office
boolean
Example:
true
last_name
string
Example:
Rangel
withdrawn_cosponsors_count
number

The number of withdrawn cosponsors of the bill.

Example:
0
Types: Bill
CommitteeSimple
Object
address
string
Example:
1102 LHOB; Washington, DC 20515-6348
chamber
string
Example:
house
committee_id
string
Example:
HSWM
house_committee_id
string
Example:
WM
name
string
Example:
House Committee on Ways and Means
office
string
Example:
1102 LHOB
phone
string
Example:
(202) 225-3625
subcommittee
boolean
Example:
false
Types: Bill
Paging envelope

All results in the Congress API are paginated. Set per_page and page to control the page size and offset. The maximum per_page is 50.

Object
results
Object data_container

Data container field

count
number

The total number of documents that match the query.

Example:
163
page
Object

information about current data page

per_page
number

The per_page value used to find the response. Defaults to 50.

Example:
20
page
number

The page value used to find the response. Defaults to 1.

Example:
2
count
number

The number of actual documents in the response. Can be less than the given per_page if there are too few documents.

Example:
50