US Government links

Data, Data, Data

Policy Agendas collects and organizes data from various archived sources to trace changes in the national policy agenda and public policy outcomes since the Second World War.


Sources of Government Information.

      The Library of Congress has information about Congress, and many other things

      The University of Michigan libraries maintain a gateway to government information 

      The Congressional Budget Office

      The General Accounting Office produces reports on many government programs

      The Congressional Research Service researches many topics, but does not publish its reports.  A network of groups tries to acquire and publish CRS reports.  Find them at the Federation of American Scientists, and at EveryCRS Report. 

      The DOJs Bureau of Justice Statistics has lots of data.  Check out their "topics," "data collections," and "data analysis tools" in the main header.

      The Bureau of Labor Statistics  has a guide to their databases, tables, etc. 

      The National Criminal Justice Reference Service  (and, quite a service it is)

      The National Archives

      The Census Bureau .  Their website has lost some functionality of late.  Check the menus at the bottom of the page. 

      The National Conference of State Legislatures links to all 50 state legislatures, and to specific policy issues.

      Washington States main access portal, with links to state agencies, policy information, and more. 

      THIS MIGHT BE IMPORTANT TO YOU.  When interested in the policies and activities addressed by particular government agencies, always check their office of inspectors general.  Here, for example, are the IG offices for the Defense Department and the Department of Health and Human Services.  Check their publications, reports, testimony and speeches. 


Nongovernmental Sources 

      To check on particular pieces of legislation, see GovTrack. 

      The Princeton Election Consortium  is a very good site if you are interested in elections. 

      Interested in tracking money in politics?  Try Open Secrets, from the Center for Responsive Politics.

      More money in politics and lobbying info is at The Campaign Finance Institute (this is their data page)  also works on clarifying money in politics 

      Annenberg Policy Centers Fact Check calls folks on being loose with truth.

      Another very good fact-checking organization is USA Facts. 

      The Brookings Institution is often called center-left, meaning more Democrat than Republican but not progressive Democrat. 

      The Tax Policy Center (joint product of Urban and Brookings) is THE place to go for information about taxes and related policies. 

      The American Political Science Association has a section devoted to public policy 

      An environmental group that uses economic analysis is Resources for the Future 

      If you want to see how Democrats see policy go to:  (Partisan does not equal untrustworthy)

1.   The Democratic Party national organization and the Democratic Leadership Council 

2.    the Center for Budget and Policy Priorities 

3.    the Progressive Policy Institute

4.   the Economic Policy Institute.  

5. is an organization that wants to put you in touch with green and cosmopolitan groups that emphasize participation


      If you want to see how Republicans see policy, go to:  (Partisan does not equal untrustworthy)

1.   The Republican Party national organization  

2.   the American Enterprise Institute

3.   the Cato Institute

4.   the Heritage Foundation.   


6.   The Federalist Society 

7.   the Competitive Enterprise Institute 

      The Hill is a newspaper about Congress 

      Governing Magazine has stories about state and local governments 

      The Election Knowledge Network has information on elections in the US and all over the world 

      Stateline is a very good clipping service with links to news on the 50 states 

      The Council of State Governments includes a clipping service for news on politics in the states 

      The National League of Cities

      The Pew research centers focus on such topics as the role of religion in US public life, and the media in politics.  See their Annual Report on the state of the Media. 

      The Center for the Study of the Presidency and Congress is mostly about the presidency, oriented toward analysis of policy issues. 

      the blog Capitol Eye

      the CBO Directors Blog   

      project OMB Watch is another blog

      the Project on Government Oversight is a network of government employees and politicos who believe in accountability


Some of the most popular sites for aggregating and analyzing news about the political world are

      The Cook Political Report publishes forecasts and analysis of US politics

      Politico  (the morning email of Politico Playbook, which you can sign up for, is read by insiders)

      Real Clear Politics 

      Townhall is perhaps the best aggregator of right wing opinion

      Mother Jones is perhaps the best place for left wing opinion .

      Bryan Nyhans blog on the media