Legislative Explorer: Visualizing Lawmaking

The University of Washington’s Center for American Politics and Public Policy is applying data visualization methods to the legislative process.  Legislative Explorer or LegEx traces the progress of bills and resolutions as they move through Congress, using visual representations for each piece of legislation and each step in the legislative process.

The image below is an overview of this visualization method.  Senators are represented on the left side, sorted by party (red = Republican) and by ideology (bottom = conservative).  House Representatives are similarly represented on the right side.

legex home

Here is a sample overview of the 110th Congress, which shows activity for 13,631 pieces of legislation:

legex 110th

Users can manipulate the data by using any of the following filters:  senators, representatives, parties, topics, committees, legislation type, steps in the process, states, and other criteria such as the gender of the sponsor or committee affiliation.  Coverage goes back to the 93rd Congress (1973-1974), and legislation is linked out to Congress.gov.

Please contact a reference librarian if you need assistance with LegEx or legislative research.

Share or Save: