New Law Creates Commission on Native Children

native_american_childrenLast week President Obama signed the Alyce Spotted Bear and Walter Soboleff Commission on Native Children Act  into law.  The Commission created by this act, is tasked with the important work of undertaking a comprehensive study of Federal, State, local, and tribal programs that serve Native children, and making recommendations on how those programs could be improved.

This Commission will be housed in an office in the Department of Justice and consist of three individuals appointed by the President and eight individuals appointed by congressional leaders.

Over the past 8 years, my Administration has been committed to working closely with tribes to strengthen our nation-to-nation relationships and to forge a brighter future for all our children. During my own visits to Indian Country, I have been inspired by the talent and enthusiasm of young people who want nothing more than to make a positive difference in their communities. From the Indian Child Welfare Act to working to return control of Indian education to tribal nations, I am proud of the progress we have made over the past 8 years. I applaud the Congress, and in particular Senator Heitkamp, for the efforts that made this new law possible.

–  Barack Obama

Thomas.gov to Retire in July

from the Library of Congress –

THOMAS.gov, the online legislative information system, will officially retire July 5, completing the multi-year transition to Congress.gov.

THOMAS, named for Thomas Jefferson, was a pioneering site when it was launched by the Imacon Color ScannerLibrary of Congress in 1995.  The system has been updated over the years, but its foundation can no longer support the capabilities that today’s Internet users have come to expect.

The Congress.gov system, initially launched in beta form in September, 2012, applies modern design and infrastructure to the robust legislative data sets, with mobile-friendly access, faceted search and other features.

During the transition, the Library has maintained both sites to ensure a seamless transition and uninterrupted service for users; solicited and applied user feedback to further refine Congress.gov’s features and functionality; and added data sets to the new site. A collaborative effort among the Library of Congress, the U.S. Senate, the U.S. House of Representatives and the Government Publishing Office (GPO), Congress.gov now provides searchable access to bill status and summary, bill text, the Congressional Record, Congressional Record Index and committee reports, and executive actions such as nominations, treaties and communications, with historic access reaching back as far as 1973. Additionally, Congress.gov provides contextual information such as member profiles, legislative-process videos, a glossary of terms, committee profile pages, video of committee hearings and direct links from bills to cost estimates from the Congressional Budget Office. The site includes accessibility tools such as downloadable audio files and tracking tools such as customizable email alerts.

The Library offers free web-based training for new users of Congress.gov. The next session is Thursday, May 19 at 2 p.m. EDT. Training registration, along with frequently asked questions and answers about permalinks and redirects from THOMAS to Congress.gov can be found here: congress.gov/help/faq.

 

New From Congress.gov – Email Alerts

– from News from the Library of  Congresscongress.gov

The free legislative information website Congress.gov now offers users a new optional email-alerts system that makes tracking legislative action even easier. Users can elect to receive email alerts for tracking:

  • A specific bill in the current Congress: Receive an email when there are updates to a specific bill (new cosponsors, committee action, vote taken, etc.); emails are sent once a day if there has been a change in a particular bill’s status since the previous day.
  • A specific member’s legislative activity: Receive an email when a specific member introduces or cosponsors a bill; emails are sent once a day if a member has introduced or cosponsored a bill since the previous day.
  • Congressional Record: Receive an email as soon as a new issue of the Congressional Record is available on Congress.gov.

The alerts system is a new feature available to anyone who creates a free account on the Congress.gov site. Creating an account also enables users to save searches. Create an account and sign up for alerts at congress.gov/account.

Congress.gov is the official source for federal legislative information. A collaboration among the Library of Congress, the U.S. Senate, the U.S. House of Representatives and the Government Publishing Office, Congress.gov is a free resource that provides searchable access to bill status and summary, bill text, member profiles, the Congressional Record, committee reports, direct links from bills to cost estimates from the Congressional Budget Office, legislative-process videos, committee profile pages and historic access reaching back as far as 1973.