I’m really liking this service, GovTrack.us. It tracks not only your representative’s voting activity, but all votes, details, and summaries of the legislation as it moves through the Legislature. The details regarding the bills is phenomenal. Give this a try if you are interested in tracking representatives’ votes and current legislation.
I’d recommend you take the 3-step approach, but you can get what you need in just 1 step. You will need to sign up for Roll Call to get started.
I’m using H.R. 699 as an example. The Email Privacy Act is a popular bill which impacts our privacy. This bill would require government agencies to seek warrants to gain access to communications older than 180 days. This is a big change as previously they could access this information with only a subpoena. You can read the latest text version of H.R. 699 on the GovTrack site.
Step 1, Link to the voting record and summary of the legislation – select title of bill in email
Step 2, Check out the history of the legislation from introduction to current status – select legislation – Example: H.R. 699
Step 3, Read the actual text of the legislation and compare it to changes made as it works through the process
Joshua Tauberer, the creator and self-proclaimed ‘civic hacker’, established GovTrack.us as a legislative tracking tool in 2004. It may have started out as a hobby, but it has become a rallying point for the open government data movement. He’s also written a book about it, which can be accessed online at Open Government Data (The Book).