I just sent Barbara Boxer and Diane Feinstein this email:
What is the process by which Congress revises bills and introduces new ones? What kind of system does it have in place? What tools does it use for version control of bills?
I don't know if you feel the same way I do, but it is painfully difficult to read a bill that references subsections of sections in another bill. There must be an easier way! I want to stay abreast of what Congress is doing, but I feel the current avenues to easily find all the relevant information of bills in Congress are not available.
I want to let you in on how I track versions of something. As a software developer, any time I want to change code to a system, I go to my computer and run a program to create a copy from the master code base of the system and make my changes in that branch. When I am done modifying my changes, I push only my changes to the master code base. Everything is documented: who did the change, what was the change, what time did the change occur, who commented on the change, who approved the change, etc. I think bills in Congress could benefit greatly from such a system. Such as system would be like Wikipedia (www.wikipedia.org
) or Github (www.github.com
). Moreover, such a system could benefit the public as well. The public would have read-only access while the Congress would have read-write access; however, the public would be able to vote on proposed changes to bills.
I'm not trying to get you to buy into my idea. I'm just letting you know the possibilities of what could be. I would really just like to understand how Congress manages the introduction and modification of bills.
Thank you for your time.