Building Trust & Effectiveness in Congress
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Award-Winning Characteristic #8: Floor Proceedings

In the 8th part of our continuing series about Gold Mouse criteria, we are covering what you should include on your site about the ongoing activities on the floor of the House or Senate. Most citizens are not familiar with what is going on in Congress or the schedule it keeps, and your website should be a place where people can learn about the legislative process and congressional action.

Your website should include what’s going on when Congress is in session by providing the chamber schedule, current floor proceedings, and links to the Congressional Record. When Congress is out of session, it can also do constituents a service by highlighting your Member’s activities during recess. Many citizens, and even many in the media, mistakenly believe that when Congress is in “recess” the Members are on vacation. Your site can be used to help correct that misconception.


Characteristic #8: Floor Proceedings

Questions to be answered:

  • Does your website link to what is currently happening on the floor of the House or Senate?
  • Do you show what your Member is doing during recess?

The specifics we look for:

  • The chamber schedule.
  • Current floor proceedings.
  • Links to the Congressional Record.
  • Descriptions and lists of activities the Member does when on recess.

Note: The most current information about Congress does not need be created and maintained by the office. Linking to, or incorporating information from, the Library of Congress, the Clerk of the House or the Secretary of the Senate, and leadership offices can ensure the timeliness and usefulness of a site without overloading staff.

Award-Winning Example: Sen. Mike Crapo (R-ID)


10 Characteristics of an Award-Winning Member Website:

  1. Information on Issues
  2. Timeliness
  3. Usability
  4. Constituent Services and Casework
  5. Promoting Accountability to Constituents
  6. Legislative Process Information
  7. District/State Information
  8. Floor Proceedings
  9. Diversity of Communications Content
  10. Diversity of Communications Channels
 
 
 

ABOUT CMF

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CMF is a 501(c)(3) nonpartisan nonprofit dedicated to helping Congress and its Members meet the evolving needs and expectations of an engaged and informed 21st century citizenry.

Our work focuses on improving congressional operations and enhancing citizen engagement through research, publications, training, and management services.

Read more about CMF

PROJECTS

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Communicating with Congress The Internet forever changed how citizens and Congress interacts. The goal of this project is to facilitate a more meaningful democratic dialogue.

 

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Gold Mouse Project
Congress should effectively communicate with and serve citizens online. CMF assesses congressional websites to identify best and innovative practices that can be more widely adopted by the House and Senate.

 

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Inside the Hill
Produced by Founding Partner Fleishman-Hillard, this video series allows you to hear directly from Members and staff on how technology is changing the way Congress works.

 

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Life in Congress
This novel research project by CMF and the Society for Human Resource Management has two goals: identify the factors that motivate congressional staff and shed some light on Congress as a workplace.

 

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21st Century Town Hall Meetings CMF seeks to continue our innovative work in this area by conducting comparative research on in-person town halls, online town halls, and telephone town halls.