You can enter up to thirty "items" where each item is either a
roll call vote or a bill (a piece of
legislation) introduced in Congress. To enter an item, use the one-character
links (commands) in the "Edit Item" column of the item table.
V or L - Add a new
item (vote or legislation/bill) at the end of the list, or insert
a new item
above an existing one,
E - Edit
an existing item,
S - Save
C - Cancel
D - Delete an item.
Then click the Get Report button to get your report
that will show how each member voted on the selected
votes or whether he or she was an
"official" cosponsor of the selected bills. If you
select the "Position with Ratings" report type, you can
also specify your "preferred" position and weight of
each item. In that case, the report will show the members' position relative to
your "preferred" position and include a score (the percentage
of votes or cosponsorships in support of the "preferred" position) for
each member. The report can be saved in tab-delimited or
Excel spreadsheet format.
To include roll call votes in the report, you must
enter for each vote
Year of the vote.
Roll call number.
Each recorded vote in the House and the Senate is assigned a unique number -
the roll call number of the vote. Note that our database does not contain
every roll call vote. For example, by default we do not
include unanimous votes (votes with no or very little
"opposition") unless they are considered important by one of the groups
featured in our Congressional Report Cards.
To include cosponsored bills in the report, you must enter for
(107th, 108th, etc.) during which the bill was introduced.
(H.R., H.Res, S., S.Res, etc.).
You cannot have "items" from both chambers in one
report. In other words, a House report can only include House votes
or bills introduced in the House, but not Senate votes or bills.
Use the links on the report main page to get
the current list of roll call votes available in our database
and instructions on where to find roll call numbers
of congressional votes,
the current list of bills with cosponsorship data in our database,
the Contact VIS page you can use to order any missing
votes or bills. These requests are typically processed within
two business day.
Use the Save button to save all items (including
your position) in a text file on your computer. To
restore the saved items in the Congress Position Report tool,
click Browse to select the file you had saved and then use the
Load button to load it in the tool. The file that will be
stored on your computer is a harmless text file that you
can open with Notepad. By default the file is called VisCPRItems.xml. Be
sure to NOT change the file format. If you do, you will not be
able to load the file back in the CPR tool.
If you check the "Item Description entry" checkbox, you will be
able to enter a title and a description text for each "item" (vote or
bill). This can be useful for two reasons:
You are planning on coming back later
and getting a report with the same (or similar) "items".
The Load button will allow you to quickly initialize
the input screen with the items you had saved in the
VisCPRItems.xml file on your computer.
You think you know something about the votes or bills
considered by the U.S. Congress that you want to share with
the users of our Congressional Report Cards. In this case, you would enter a
title and a description of each item (vote or bill), save the
data on your computer in the XML file (see above), and mail the XML file
to us at support [at] vis.org. Use the "Review" link
to review the information for all items you have entered in a format
similar to how it would be displayed in our Report Cards.
You use some other provider such as CapitolAdvantage.com to
publish your congressional scorecard and you want them to use the
same votes or bills that you have already entered in our Position Report tool.
If you enter a title and a description for each item, the XML file will contain
all the data the other provider needs to publish your scorecard. Just send them
the XML file and they should be able to easily extract the data from it. Again,
for more information contact us at support at vis.org.