Hoyer Unveils “Whip Watch 2.0” App to Continue Making the House of Representatives More Open, Accessible

Building Off the Success of the Original “Whip Watch,” 2.0 Adds New Tools to Follow House Votes in Real-Time

For Immediate Release:

March 30, 2017

Contact:

Mariel Saez 202-225-3130

WASHINGTON, DC – Today, House Democratic Whip Steny H. Hoyer (MD) released a major update to the “Whip Watch” app that provides Members of Congress, staff, the press, and the public with live updates and news on what’s happening on the Floor of the U.S. House of Representatives. The new version allows users to see live vote totals, including party breakdowns, as well as the time remaining in a vote and how long a vote stays open after it was supposed to close. For the first time, Members, reporters, and the public will be able to view this information in real time on their phones. 

Click here to view a video explaining the new features of Whip Watch 2.0 app. 

“Today, I’m proud to announce a major update to ‘Whip Watch’ to make it an even better resource for Members, staff, and the public,” stated Whip Hoyer. “This builds on efforts to ensure that the Democratic Caucus – and the House as a whole – are using the latest tools to make Congress more open, accessible, and transparent.”

The app developed by the office of the Democratic Whip has been widely used by those who follow the House Floor closely. It has been downloaded over 30,000 times since its June 2015 launch, and it currently has over 3,000 active users. The app helps make the House of Representatives more open and transparent by making it easy for anyone to follow action on the House Floor from anywhere. 

The latest version of the app adds the ability to watch votes in real time; show the vote totals, including party breakdowns; time remaining during a vote; and how much time a vote stays open after it was supposed to close. It also provides important legislative information on what the House is currently voting on, including amendment descriptions. The new version also includes a new gavel icon to quickly tell users whether the House is in session that day. The app gets some information from a publicly-available API from Capitol Bells, and it also screen-scrapes text from a House-internal high-definition video feed of the House Floor.  As a result of that inexact process, inaccuracies in the data can occasionally occur. Available for iOS, the app can be downloaded for free directly on any iPhone or iPad. Users who already have the app will see their app automatically updated, or can go to the App Store to update the app. 

The new app still includes all the functionality from the original app, including real-time updates on what’s happening on the Floor; access to the House calendar, which is updated in real-time; access to House Floor schedules for both the day and the week ahead; access to press releases and videos from the Whip’s Office; and the ability to view job openings in House Democratic offices. Users can customize how much information they want – and when they want it – by setting notification controls.

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