"THOMAS was launched in January of 1995, at the inception of the 104th Congress. The leadership of the 104th Congress directed the Library of Congress to make federal legislative information freely available to the public. Since that time THOMAS has expanded the scope of its offerings..."
While Thomas has served the research needs of many users over the years. The time has come to develop a next-generation legislative information system. Congress.gov , is that system that will over time, incorporate the best of Thomas plus adding new functionality.
The Library of Congress, in collaboration with the U.S. Senate, House of Representatives and the Government Printing Office (GPO) are working together to build this new resource. The beta site was unveiled in September 2012.
Plans are to make finding and using legislative information more intuitive, comprehensive and accessible than the existing system. Some of the new enhancements include :
• Simultaneously search all content across all available years
• Ability to narrow and refine search results
• Easier identification of bill progress/status
• Effective display for mobile devices
• A landing page for each piece of legislation with links to key information
• For bills from 2001- present, links to Congressional Budget Office "Cost Estimates"
• A popular introduction to each step in the Legislative Process from introduction to presidential signing or veto
"The Library is releasing Congress.gov as a beta site to enable a period of time for collecting user feedback and refining functionality while other content is incorporated. Other data, such as the Congressional Record, committee reports, nominations, treaties and communications, will be incorporated over time in a planned, prioritized order. The Library anticipates Congress.gov will operate as a beta site for approximately one year as this work is completed. During that time, both THOMAS and LIS will continue to operate as usual. "