Presents an analysis of possible outside influences on how U.S. Senators vote on bills.
What it does
Congressional Close Up helps explain why members of Congress vote they way they do on specific bills.
The technology tracks each vote cast by members of Congress and notes when a member has voted against party, which is the first clue that an outside influence—for better or worse—has played a roll in that member’s vote. Congressional Close Up then looks at various databases to find information that might help explain the vote, such as a member’s committee memberships, campaign donations, and industries with a significant presence in their district.
At the moment the tool is ideally suited for reporters covering Congress, though future work might make it more directly useful for voters and other citizens with an interest in politics.