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  • 05.02.14

This Eye-Popping Interactive Visualization Shows Every Bill Introduced By Congress Since 1973

Passing legislation? Looks more like Atari.

This Eye-Popping Interactive Visualization Shows Every Bill Introduced By Congress Since 1973

At first glance, Legislative Explorer resembles an newfangled version of space invaders. Blue and red dots shoot out from the corners of a black screen and explode like starbursts. In fact, the tool is an interactive visualization tracking every bill and resolution in the U.S. Congress since 1973. That’s 250,000 pieces of legislation, which you can search by topic, party, and even the gender of the sponsor. But while Legislative Explorer lets you see how congress works, it’s also a pretty clear picture of how badly the U.S. House and Senate are broken. Just look at all the bills introduced in the last year. And then see which ones actually passed. Womp womp.

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Legislative Explorer was created by John Wilkerson, a political scientist at the University of Washington’s Center for American Politics and Public Policy, and developed by design studio, Schema.

About the author

Jennifer Miller is the author of The Year of the Gadfly (Harcourt, 2012) and Inheriting The Holy Land (Ballantine, 2005). She's a regular contributor to Co.Create.

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