Making Sense of Representative Democracy.

Welcome to CQ Press Congress Collection, an award-winning reference collection in the CQ Press Library. This collection is a powerful research and reference tool for analyzing the history and development, legislation, powers, and personalities of the U.S. Congress. This wealth of data is presented with nonbiased commentary and vital biographical and voting data for members of Congress. No other collection on the U.S. Congress has the functionality, depth, scope, and unique features of Congress Collection.


Content is organized under four main sections, navigable through the tabs at the top of every page:

Floor Votes

Floor Votes organizes, by Congress and topic, the preferred data for scholarly research. Each individual floor vote is presented with a description of the vote along with the vote outcome by political party and includes links to the roll call vote, the full text of the legislation, and a state delegation vote map. It also provides the ability to conduct advanced vote analysis by various demographic fields. For each series of related votes on an issue, only one vote is usually identified as a CQ Key Vote. This vote is the floor vote in the House or Senate that in the opinion of CQ's editorial staff was the most important in determining the outcomeCQ Press Case Summaries are the preferred data for scholarly research, organized by Court and topic.

Congress Collection does not include the four delegates from the District of Columbia, U.S. Virgin Islands, Guam, and American Samoa, nor does it include Puerto Rico's resident commissioner. Generally speaking, these representatives do not have voting powers. During periods of Democratic control of the U.S. House in the 1990s and 2000s, however, these representatives were given limited voting rights when the House constituted itself as a Committee of the Whole to vote on legislation. Consequently, users will find in some floor vote descriptions that the vote total number of votes exceeds the usual 435.

Member Profiles

Member Profiles includes biographical, political, and electoral data about every member of Congress since the 79th Congress (additional Congresses will be added periodically). It also includes links to each member's "CQ Key Votes" voting record, CQ Voting Scores, and data on how various interest groups rate the members. An advanced member search allows the user to search for members by various demographic fields

Analyze Data

These database-driven research tools allow patrons to generate unique perspectives about members of Congress. These tools include:

  • In Voting Alignment researchers can compare “CQ Key Votes” voting records between two or more members, member votes compared to party votes, by member demographics, and by votes across a state delegation.

  • In Interest Group Ratings users can analyze each member and their demographics with support scores assigned by various, well-known interest groups, including the American Civil Liberties Union, American Conservative Union, and the National Education Association.

  • In Voting Scores researchers can find CQ Roll Calls's highly valued Voting Scores, which track voting habits of members in the House and Senate.

  • In Advanced CQ Key Vote Analysis users will discern member voting patterns on the most important legislation.

How Congress Works

How Congress Works presents narrative contextual information about Congress, in the form of legislative analysis under 23 broad topics, a How Congress Works section, encyclopedic information, and a Congressional dictionary that defines more than 900 terms.

Download Data

Download Data allows users to export data on Congress members and their votes. All data is exported according to an 'airplane ticket' format which progressively refines search delimiters, allowing researchers to build their data export based on a series of prompts and option selections. In the final data export stage, you can choose to have the data sent to your disk or email, in either text or spreadsheet format. For more information on the purpose and use of Data Export Features, please see the Help page.