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Thursday, June 12, 2014

Legislative Explorer - An Interactive Visual of Legislative Actions

Legislative Explorer is a an interactive visualization developed by the University of Washington's Center for American Politics and Public Policy. Through the Legislative Explorer you can see the process of a bill passing through Congress and on to the President. The process is animated with data point dots that move through the visualization. The dots stop at each stop of the process and move forward or backward in relation to the actual movement the bill went through in Congress.

The Legislative Explorer contains data beginning with the 93rd Congress (1973- 1974) and runs through the 113th Congress (2013-2014). From the menus at the top of the Legislative Explorer you can select a Congress, a senator or representative, a political party, or a legislative topic. If you know the name of a piece of legislation or a bill's number you can search for it in the "more" menu at the top of the Legislative Explorer.

The video below provides a nice overview of how the Legislative Explorer works.


Applications for Education
The Legislative Explorer could be a good resource to use in a U.S. Civics or in a U.S. History course to help students see the difference between the number of bills proposed and the number of laws that are actually passed by Congress. The Legislative Explorer could also be good for students to use to explore the relationship between the majority party in Congress and the type of legislation that gets enacted during that Congress.

H/T to Cool Infographics