A Look At Committee News
Committee News is a web based online informational website, which offers members of Congress, political campaign staff, media, advocacy groups, volunteers, and others with timely information on upcoming events. It also publishes a bi-annual congressional index of current legislative activity, speeches delivered by Members of Congress, and other related news. The most recent release of the index can be accessed on the site at any time. For a fee, the public is permitted to download the entire record, which includes summaries and cover-ups of significant topics. Committee News also provides a number of links, including those to the committee website, various legislative subcommittees, outside organizations, and information on how to volunteer with Committee News.
One of the features of Committee News is an interactive members’ search feature, which allows members of Congress to search their Congressional record, which provides data regarding committee assignments, debate and vote recorded against each other, etc. Also available is a list of committee witnesses, which gives information regarding their testimony, writings, or published works. A “members only” section provides information about committee meetings, committee assignments, history of action, and other pertinent information to assist in the understanding of the site’s material. The site contains searchable biographical information regarding Members of Congress. Additionally, the site provides information regarding key staff members, key appointments, historical data regarding legislation, staff documents, etc., as well as other informative links. Lastly, the site offers an archive section that provides links to past newsletters, magazine issues, news releases, research studies and more.
Committee News was founded by political scientists in the late 1990s, using an information management system for the purpose of maintaining the Congressional record. The site was launched in early 1996 with the intent of providing an electronic source of congressional information. The site has grown rapidly since its inception and today it houses over eighty thousand pages of congressional information. It also serves as an information service for the committees themselves.
Many individuals use Committee News as a reference resource when researching various legislation and issues affecting their home states. The site maintains an indexed directory of all legislative bodies and the pages that house their information. These authoritative documents allow the user to locate information quickly and find relevant related sites. The site also has a feature that directs the user to related information and articles pertaining to their area of interest. Many Congressional committees also use the site to facilitate communications between members and their constituents.
Users can subscribe to receive regular emails with links to the pages of interest on specific topics. The site also includes a newsletter that is sent out periodically. Subscribers can receive important information regarding deadlines, upcoming events and important bill announcements.
To enhance communication between committee members, Committee News allows for comments, questions and suggestions through an online forum. The forum is moderated and available to everyone who signs up. This forum offers an excellent opportunity for members to express their opinions and offer valuable input. The site also offers an archive section which allows past attendees to place new events and comments. In addition, the site has an archive of past issues.